Dallas Burn 2000
2000 Club by Club
The Burn finished the 2000 regular season with a record of 14-14-4, becoming one of only two teams (LA) to qualify for the playoffs all five years of MLS play. Dallas compiled an 11-3-2 record at home while going just 3-11-2 on the road. The team had two four- game unbeaten streaks during the 2000 campaign, but also suffered through a six-game winless streak in May and early June. The Burn offense finished the 2000 regular season ranked fourth in the league, averaging 1.69 goals per game. Most of the offensive success could be credited to the Burn's two big guns up front.
Forwards Jason Kreis and Ariel Graziani, arguably the most dangerous forward tandem in MLS, scored 26 of Dallas' 54 goals (48%). Kreis, the team's all-time leading scorer with 165 points, finished the season as the team's leader in points for the fourth time in his five-year career, striking for 11 goals and 13 assists. He was one of only three players in the league (Clint Mathis and Diego Sema) to finish in double digits in goals and assists. Graziani, acquired late in the '99 season, proved yet again that he is one of the most dangerous strikers in the game. Graziani finished second on the team and ninth in the league in scoring with 15 goals and 3 assists for 33 points. He was named MLS Player of the Week on two occasions and became just the third player in team history to amass double-digit goals in a season.
With several key players missing playing time this year due to national team call-ups or injuries, the Burn relied on their young players in 2000 more than ever. And the young guys answered the call. Forward Aleksey Korol, the team's first-round draft pick in the 2000 draft, set a Burn rookie record for scoring, netting five goals and adding three assists in 20 games.
Second-year players Lazo Alavanja, Paul Broome and Bobby Rhine all saw a significant increase in playing time in 2000. Alavanja played in 24 games, starting 15, and registered two goals and five assists. Broome, despite missing four games with a thigh laceration, played in 20 games and dished for seven assists while Rhine saw action in 23 games, scoring one goal and assisting on six others. Finally, Antonio Martinez, Dallas' second-round selection in the 2000 draft, proved to be a super-sub late in the year. In three straight games in August, Martinez came on as a sub and scored two goals, including the game-winner vs. DC on August 12, and added two assists.
Despite the problems that plagued the team on the road (3-11-2 in road games), the Burn found the Cotton Bowl to be the cure for the road woes. Dallas compiled an impressive 11-3-2 record at home this season, outscoring the opposition on their home turf 37-22. The Burn also compiled a seven-game unbeaten streak at home from June 7 - August 16. Since the start of the 1999 season, the Burn's home record is 24-6-2 for a winning percentage of .781.
The .781 winning percentage is the best home winning percentage of any team in the league since the start of the 1999 season. Burn attendance continued upward swing With 14,833 fans in attendance in the Burn's regular season finale vs. the San Jose Earthquakes, Dallas finished the 2000 season with an average attendance of 13,102. The 13,102 average is a 7.3% increase over 1999's final attendance average and a 36% increase since 1997. It also marked the third year in a row that the Burn's average attendance has increased.
Forward Ariel Graziani won the team's MVP for the 2000 season proved that last year's late- season scoring surge was no fluke for Graziani. He finished the 2000 season first on the team in goals (15) and second in points with 33. His 15 goals accounted for 28% of the team's total goal output and tied for sixth in the league in goals scored. Graziani was twice named MLS Player of the Week, after striking for two goals vs. the Chicago Fire on March 18 and after adding a pair of goals in Dallas' 4-2 win over LA on July 1.
For the fourth time in five years, Kreis captured the Burn's scoring title. He was also the top point-man in 1996, '98 and '99. Kreis ended the 2000 campaign with 11 goals and 13 assists for 35 points, the second consecutive year he has registered double figures in goals and assisrs. Of his 11 goals, four were game-winners while four of his 13 assists proved to be game-winners.
Jorge "Zarco" Rodriguez was named the team's defender of the year for the second time after taking the honors in 1998 as well. Zarco's move to sweeper on June 10 made a huge difference in the Burn's back line. Prior to his inception at sweeper, the team was conceding 2.14 goals per game. With Rodriguez patrolling the defense, the team finished the season conceding only 1.69 goals per game. His game was not just limited to defense, however, as he finished the season fourth on the team in scoring with four goals and six assists for 14 points.
Since joining the Burn late in the 1999 season, Dallas is 20-10-2 with Graziani in the lineup and just 2-5-2 in games in which he was forced to miss. The Burn scored 14 of their 54 goals in the final 15 minutes of the game. However, the team also conceded 13 goals in the final 15 minutes of the game. The Burn scored the first goal of the game a league-high 19 times and went 13-3-3 m those games.
They allowed the first goal of the game 12 times, going just 1-11-0 in those contests.