Biggest matches and fondest memories

Biggest Non-Playoff Match

Head Coach Colin Clarke, goalkeeper Jeff Cassar, defender Steve Jolley and midfielder Eric Quill talk about their biggest and most important non-playoff match over their careers. They also put it into perspective considering their own team is looking to win and get in the MLS playoffs tomorrow.

Head Coach Colin Clarke

"Tomorrow's match with San Jose is probably as big as anything," said Clarke. "It doesn't get any bigger than this. The win one match and you're in the playoffs scenario doesn't happen too often.

"Obviously we're at home and we're feeling good about it and hopefully we can go out and get a result."

Goalkeeper Jeff Cassar

"The match tomorrow ranks number one for me that's for sure," said Cassar. "This is important for the entire club, not for the individual, but for everyone on the Dallas Burn.

"We want to head into Frisco next season with a good feeling from the year before so we're looking to have a good result tomorrow."

Defender Steve Jolley

"Tomorrow will be the biggest non-playoff soccer match I have played in over my career," said Jolley. "As a player and as an athlete, this is all you can really ask for just knowing that this match dictates how you define your season.

"I would say that our goals at the beginning of the season were to get to the playoffs. For our group and what we went through last year, it would be a huge accomplishment for us to go to the playoffs."

Midfielder Eric Quill

"I've never been on a team where the last match of the season was a must-win to get into the playoffs," said Quill. "This is, I would have to say, the biggest one I have ever been around during the regular season."

Fondest Cotton Bowl Memory

The final regular season match for the Dallas Burn at the Cotton Bowl will be tomorrow. With a good result against San Jose, the Burn will at least play one more match at the Cotton Bowl. Although the players don't want to talk about this being the final match ever at the Cotton Bowl, they address their fondest memories of the stadium.

Forward Jason Kreis

"I've had so many memories at the Cotton Bowl that it's hard to just choose one," said Kreis. "One that still sticks with me was my MLS-record setting goal earlier this season.

"It wasn't scoring the goal itself, but afterwards being able to share that moment with my teammates. That was very important and memorable to me."

Forward Eddie Johnson

"I'm hoping that there will be a memory to remember tomorrow at the Cotton Bowl," said Johnson. "I'm looking forward to tomorrow as I know the whole team is.

"You have to just love games like this. It doesn't get any better than this."

Forward Bobby Rhine

"My fondest memory has to do with my first start," said Rhine. "It was a match that my family was all at and I had a bunch of my friends there too.

"As a matter of a fact, we were playing San Jose. I got two goals and we won 2-1. I'll never forget that one."

Defender Matt Behncke

"I remember a match in 2002 towards the end of the season when we were playing Los Angeles," said Behncke. "We had about 20,000 people there and the atmosphere was great.

"I'm also looking forward to tomorrow and giving the fans a proper send off."

Clarke decides to go with Cassar on Saturday

Burn Head Coach Colin Clarke informed Jeff Cassar that he will be the starting goalkeeper in the biggest match of the season on Saturday. Cassar, who will be a strong candidate for Burn Defensive Player of the Year, stepped up in a huge way when Scott Garlick went down with a high right ankle sprain in June. Cassar then played the following 18 straight matches, going 7-8-3 with a 1.46 GAA and four shutouts.

"This is a great opportunity not only for me, but the entire team," said Cassar. "I'm ready to go and excited to get tomorrow going."

Getting the nod at goalkeeper on Saturday shows the confidence Clarke has in his 30 year-old keeper from Michigan. The coach believes that Cassar is ready for the challenge lying ahead at the Cotton Bowl.

"Jeff has obviously had a good season despite missing the past couple matches due to injury," said Clarke. "He's back fit and healthy and is pumped and ready to go."


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