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MLS Sep 06, 2011

MLS stunned by sudden death of broadcaster, former player Bobby Rhine

Major League Soccer club FC Dallas is mourning the loss of former player and current club broadcaster Bobby Rhine. The 35-year-old passed away suddenly on Monday evening, Sept. 5, 2011.

“The FC Dallas family is shocked and saddened by the passing of Bobby Rhine and our thoughts and prayers are with Bobby’s wife Bevan and the entire Rhine family in this very difficult time,” said Clark Hunt, chairman of club owners Hunt Sports Group, in a press release.

“From the early days at the Cotton Bowl with the Dallas Burn, through the transition to FC Dallas and Pizza Hut Park, Bobby was one of the most respected and beloved figures in club history. We will miss Bobby’s passion for the beautiful game, his dedication to FC Dallas and our supporters, and the positive spirit he shared with everyone he met.”

Rhine sent one final Tweet on August 31: “1st weekend w/o a telecast since April 8th. Going off teh grid fo some beach time. Cup full of seeyoulaterade.”

Rhine spent more than a decade with the organization both as a player and member of the front office. After ending his playing career following the 2008 season, he remained as a key figure with the club, making valuable contributions in both community development and broadcasting. Bobby was selected in the First Round (sixth overall) in the 1999 MLS Super Draft.

“It is an extremely sad day in the history of FC Dallas,” said Doug Quinn, President and CEO of FC Dallas. “Bobby was the voice and face of our club and always a very popular figure with our fans. Everyone connected with FC Dallas has been affected by this tragic news and we wish to send our heartfelt condolences to Bobby’s family. We want to take this opportunity to thank Bobby for his tireless work for our club and acknowledge everything he has done to help grow the game of soccer in our community. He will be greatly missed.”

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.

“I had the pleasure of coaching him during his time as a player and Bobby always gave his all to FC Dallas,” said head coach Schellas Hyndman. “He brought a daily smile and an unmatched passion and love for the club and his teammates. His commitment to our team continued in the broadcast booth where he brought insight, energy and enthusiasm to our live match broadcasts. He will be missed by the entire FC Dallas family.”

Quinn said FC Dallas is in the process of finalizing its plans to pay tribute to Rhine this season. An announcement regarding a memorial service for Bobby will be made once details are finalized. In lieu of flowers, the family would like donations to be made to the FC Dallas Foundation.