1999 Club by Club
SUPPORTERS' SHIELD WINNERS
For the second time, United posted the best overall record in the MLS regular season, thus winning the Supporters' Shield. United won 57 points througn the 32 matches, one away from the best record in club history, set a year ago when United recorded 58 points while posting a 24-8 record.
This year's record was one win away from the best in MLS history. A year ago, both the Black-and-Red and Los Angeles Galaxy posted 24-8 records, Galaxy winning the Supporters' Shield by virtue of five more regulation-time victories. The 68 points posted in '98 by Los Angeles was by far the best mark in the league, but the victory total is considered the record under MLS accounting.
United previously posted the best record during the '97 campaign. The shield was given prior to MLS Cup '98 for the first time, though the winners from the first two seasons have also been inscribed.
BEST REGULAR SEASON RECORDS IN MLS
United had the best offense in the league statistically in 1999, scoring 65 goals in 32 matches. The total was 11 goals better than the Dallas Burn, who had the best offensive output in the Western Conference.
However, the record was just the third-highest total in club history United setting a club record with 74 goals last season, also scoring 70 goals in the '97 season. The lowest goal total in club history was in the inaugural season when United netted 62 goals.
United's goalscoring total was the lowest to lead the league in the four-year history. Tampa Bay Mutiny's league-leading 66 goals in the inaugural season was the previous low.
AND BEST DEFENSE, TOO
United also posted the best defensive record in club history, allowing just 43 goals in the 32 matches last season. The 48 goals allowed in '98 was the fewest in club history; each year, United has seen their goals allowed total decrease.
The 43 goals were the fewest of any club winning the Supporters' Shield, besting by one Los Angeles Galaxy's performance of a year ago.
However, United had just the sixth-best defense in Major League Soccer, with the other five teams all allowing fewer than 40 goals. The best defensive record in the league was posted by Los Angeles, allowing just 29 goals in 32 games, by far surpassing the 41 goals allowed by the Columbus Crew in 1997.
IN THE CONFERENCE
United posted the best-ever conference record in MLS history in '99. The Black-and-Red lost just three matches against the East a 3-2 loss to the New England Revolution at East Capitol Street on April 24, and defeats in the final two matches of the season, a 4-2 defeat by Tampa Bay and a shootout loss after a 1-1 draw with New England.
United won 17 of their 20 matches in the conference (five by shootout) and took 41 of a possible 60 points in the division; the best previous conference mark in league history set in 1997 by the Kansas City Wizards (13-3, .813 winning percentage).
While United made hay in the East, the record against the West wasn't as good. The Sept. 25 victory against Los Angeles merely brought the Black-and-Red to a .500 mark against the West, with six wins (one by shootout) in 12 matches. United took 16 points against the West, losing four matches in full time.
TOUGH ON EAST CAPITOL STREET
United has never lost in MLS Cup play at RFK Stadium - in fact, the Black-and-Red have won all 12 previous playoff matches in regulation time after the 4-0 victory in the third leg of the East finals v. Columbus.
United won three games at home in the playoffs ir each year. In 1996, United won Games 2 and 3 against the MetroStars in the Eastern Conference semifinals, then defeated Tampa Bay Mutiny in Game 1 of the conference final.
In 1997, United swept their way through the playoffs, including the cup final defeating New England Revolution in the East semis, Columbus Crew in the finals, and Colorado Rapids in MLS Cup '97. Last year, United took the first game from the Miami Fusion in the conference semifinals before being extended to three games in the finals by Columbus Crew, winning the first and third games at RFK.
This year, United took Came One of the Eastern Conference semifinals 2-0 against Miami Fusion, before taking the first game against Columbus 2-1, then the third and deciding match 4-0. Over the 12 matches, United has scored 31 goals, allowing eight.
TOPS IN THE CITY
Over the club's four-year history, D.C. United has by far the best winning percentage of any of the four major sports franchises in Washington. United's regular-season record is 84-44 over the period, a winning percentage of .656. Only the Redskins are also above the .500 mark, by a half-game thanks to a tie in the '97 campaign.
United's posted an 11-game unbeaten streak from Aug. 8 to Sept 25, the best league mark in club history,. It was the second lengthy streak last season, United winning seven matches from May 8 to June 13. The previous United mark was nine consecutive league victories (one by shootout) set last season from July 2-August 26.
The skein was one victory away from the MLS record for consecutive victories in a single season. Los Angeles Galaxy won 12 games in a row from April 13-June 30,1996. Galaxy hold the mark for the longest streak, 15 games over the end of the 1997 season and the beginning of the '98 campaign.
United's streak matched the run of the Chicago Fire last year from May 16 to July 9. The four streaks are the only ones in MLS history to reach double-digits.
United's club record for all competitions is 12 matches in a row, the nine-game league winning streak in '98 wrapped around the C0NCACAF Champions Cup, when United also won three matches.
IN FIRST PLACE
D.C. United was in first place in the Eastern Conference all but three weeks during the 1999 season. After a 2-3 loss away to Chicago Fire on May 1, United fell to second place in the East, not regaining the top spot in the division until after the 3-1 victory at Miami Fusion on May 22.
United did not lead the Eastern Conference at all during the inaugural season of MLS. It wasn't until the fourth week of the '97 MLS season, after three victories (one by shootout) to open the campaign, that United took over first place for the first time.
Since then, United has been in first place for 76 of 84 regular-season weeks, out of the top spot just three weeks last year.
After the 2-0 MLS Cup final victory, United had taken home the hardware, while Los Angeles Galaxy had left Boston with most of the. crystal given to individual award winners. But still United players littered the nominees for the MLS postseason awards.
D.C. United had two nominees among the three finalists for Honda MVP, the first time in league history that has occurred. Jaime Moreno and Marco Etcheverry joined the eventual winner, Dallas Bum forward Jason Kreis, as finalists.
All Sport Coach of the Year: Thomas Rongen was one of three finalists, along with Dallas Burn's David Dir and the winner, Los Angeles Galaxy boss Sigi Schmid.
MasterCard Goal of the Year: Marco Etcheverry's strike from the center stripe was selected in the fan balloting for the award, ahead of San Jose Clash midfielder Eddie Lewis' strike, and a bombazo from Chicago Fire forward Ante Razov.