Beginning this November, the Bobby Rhine Fall Invitational presented by MoneyGram will be a qualifying tournament for the prestigious Dr Pepper Dallas Cup. The fall classic honors former FC Dallas player and broadcaster Bobby Rhine.
The tournament, held November 23-25 at the FC Dallas Stadium complex, will field 130-150 teams in the Under-11 through Under-16 age groups. Four teams (one each in the U-13, U-14, U-15 and U-16 age groups) will ultimately qualify for the Dr Pepper Dallas Cup based on their results in the Bobby Rhine Fall Invitational presented by MoneyGram.
“We’re excited about the opportunity to assist FC Dallas in every way possible to have a successful qualifying tournament,” said Randy Jones, Dallas Cup tournament manager.
FC Dallas Vice President of Youth Chris Hayden echoed Jones’ excitement about the new qualifying tournament and the potential top tournament field expected at FC Dallas Stadium in November.
“We are also pleased we are honoring the legacy of Bobby Rhine with what will become a prestigious youth event held in Frisco each Thanksgiving,” said Hayden. “Bobby Rhine meant so much to our organization as a player, coach, broadcaster and friend. This event will remind our fans, supporters and the overall youth soccer community of Bobby’s selfless and enduring contribution to FC Dallas.”
Rhine, who spent his 10-year MLS career as a player for Dallas, and then retired to the broadcast booth and front office with the club, passed away suddenly in September 2011 at the age of 35.
“Our boys and I are so proud to have this tournament named for Bobby,” said Rhine’s wife, Bevan. “Bobby played in Dallas Cup as a youth player and coached in it several years ago. He was always impressed by the Dallas Cup's long term commitment to keeping the tournament one of the most prestigious tournaments in the world. I know he would be honored to have his name associated with a qualifying tournament that helps to ensure the exceptional quality of the Dallas Cup.”
After ending his playing career following the 2008 season, Rhine remained as a key figure with FC Dallas, making valuable contributions in both community development and broadcasting.
During his career, Rhine appeared in 212 games for Dallas, making 136 starts and playing more than 12,000 minutes. He scored 23 goals and recorded 34 assists. His goals total is good for eighth all-time in the FC Dallas record books, while his assists total ranks fourth behind Jason Kreis, Oscar Pareja and Ronnie O’Brien. Rhine was selected in the First Round (sixth overall) in the 1999 MLS SuperDraft.
In addition to the naming the invitational after Bobby, the FC Dallas Foundation is starting the Bobby Rhine Heart Project which will provide life protecting devices to sports complexes and facilities.
“Bobby Rhine was a great friend to all of us here at the Dallas Cup and we are only too pleased to assist Bobby’s wife, Bevan, and the FC Dallas Foundation in raising funds for the Bobby Rhine Heart Project,” said Gordon Jago, executive director of the Dallas Cup.