1999 Club by Club
The fact that the Burn enjoyed their most successful season in 1999 can largely be credited to two key players - Jason Kreis and Matt Jordan. Kreis, the 1999 MLS Most Valuable Player, enjoyed his most prosperous season in four years with the Burn.
Kreis' had a record breaking year in 1999, he gained Dallas’ most points in a season, 51, most goals in a season, 18, most assists in a season, 15 and most points in a game with 7.
After suffering through 8-8 seasons at home for the past two years, the Burn established a true home-field advantage in '99. Their 13-3 home record was the best home record of any team in the league and the 13 home wins set a franchise record, the previous record for most home wins was 10 set in '96. Of their 16 home games this season, the Burn accumulated 37 of a possible 49 points. The team also ended the '99 season with a five-game home winning streak.
The Burn finished the 1999 regular season with a record of 19-13, the most successful season in franchise history. The 19 victories were a team record, topping the team's 17-win season in 1996.
Additionally, the team set records for most points in a season with 51 (previous record was 42 points in 1997) and the defense allowed the fewest goals in team history with 35, shattering the previous record of 48 goals allowed in 1996.
The Burn never had a losing streak of more than two games for the year while stringing together a three-game winning streak in August and a five game winning streak to end the season. The team won eight of their final nine games. Kreis became the first player in league history to register 15 goals and 15 assists in a season and only the fourth player ever to amass more than 50 points in a season (Roy Lassiter in '96 and Cobi Jones and Stern John in '98) Kreis was also named MLS Player of the Week an MLS record six times for the year and was also named MLS Player of the Month for June after registering for three goals and five assists in only five games.
In only his first year as a starter, goalkeeper Matt Jordan was one of three finalists for league Dallas Bum goalkeeper of the year honors. Jordan registered 11 shutouts on the year, shattering the previous league record of nine set by Tony Meola in '96. He finished the season tied for second in the league in goals-against average with a Burn-record 1.08 GAA, second in saves (133) and first in catches/punches (124).
An eleventh-hour trade paid huge dividends as Dallas' trade of Leonel Alvarez to the New England Revolution for forward Ariel Graziani on Aug. 13 was met by shock and anxiety by both fans and the media. Alvarez, the team's captain for two years with the Burn, had proven to be a team leader both on and off the field and was a favorite by fans and players alike. It took just four minutes for those fears to be allayed.
That's how long it took for Graziani to score in his first game with Dallas, a 3-0 win at Colorado. Graziani would go on to score in his first four games with Dallas and led the team in playoff scoring with five goals. After making the trade, the Burn went 8-1 in its final nine games and vaulted from fourth place in the West to a second place finish.
Dallas were also proving a stout defensive unit who did not crumble late on in matches. In four years of regular season play, Dallas proved to be almost impossible to beat late. All-time, they were an incredible 48-0 (13-0 in ‘99) when leading at the 75-minute mark. They have not fared so well when trailing or tied at the 75-minute mark. They are only 5-37 (0-7 in ‘99) when trailing and 14-23 (4-6 in ‘99) when tied at the 75-minute mark.
Similarly Dallas scored 34 of their 54 goals in the second half of games in '99, with an incredible league-high 13 goals coming in the final ten minutes of the game. Of those 13 goals scored in the final ten minutes, five either won or tied the game.