Q&A with Dallas' Jason Kreis
Ronnie O'Brien had sent in a cross, I think Oscar Pareja touched it forward -- and I just took the ball on a half-turn. The goalkeeper made a pretty good play but it got by him. Again, not the nicest goal. But like my Dad says, they don't rate goals, they count them.
MLSnet.com: You've now scored against 30 different goalkeepers in Major League Soccer. Who's the best you've ever faced?
Kreis: If you look at how they're doing now, you have to mention two guys I have a lot of respect for, Tim Howard and Brad Friedel. I think I scored against both of those guys. I would never disrespect Tony Meola by not mentioning him, since he's a fantastic goalkeeper. And of course there's a guy in L.A. who's great, Kevin Hartman.
MLSnet.com: Tell us about Roy Lassiter, the player whose record you surpassed today.
Kreis: I have tremendous respect for Roy Lassiter. He's the ultimate finisher. He has tremendous pace and can strike the ball cleanly with his left foot. I'm proud to take over the record from him. He sent me an e-mail this week, acknowledging that I had tied the record and saying that he was proud that somebody like me could do so.
MLSnet.com: Lassiter set his record playing for four teams [Tampa Bay, D.C. United, Miami, Kansas City]. You've spent all nine years of your career with Dallas. What has that meant for you as a player?
Kreis: It's something I pride myself on. When people ask me what was my most proud accomplishment in college [Duke University], I say it was playing in every game of my college career. If somebody said what's your proudest achievement in MLS, I'd say it was staying with the same team for all my years. This club has meant so much to me, and the fact that they've kept their faith in me means that I've shown loyalty and a passion to be here.
MLSnet.com: You scored your first goal in 1996 and now No. 89 today. What was the most memorable goal in between?
Kreis: [Laughs.] There really isn't one. People laugh at me because they'll ask me about this goal or that goal, and I don't have a good answer. For some reason I don't really remember them. I've never viewed the end product as important compared to the way you play. That's what I would like for fans, reporters, and coaches to recognize players for -- playing well, not just the stats you put on the board.
MLSnet.com: How would you rate your chances to reach the 100-goal mark?
Kreis: I have to like my prospects. It's something I thought about this year, trying to go for 100 goals. It's something that at the end of the day will probably be even more important to me than this one.
MLSnet.com: Will you be playing again next season?
Kreis: I certainly hope so. I guess that's a question better reserved for the club management. I can't say how long I'll continue to play, and would hate to jinx myself by guessing.
MLSnet.com: This is a record that you could conceivably have broken last year if you had not missed several months of the season [with an ACL tear]. Does this help in putting the injury behind you?
Kreis: I had been intent on setting the record last year. I was feeling great, and ready to do it, but the injury precluded my breaking that record. For me it became important when I started to think about the hard work and all the difficult times I had gone through over the past months. It became sort of a stepping-stone for me. I'm an emotional guy, I've never held back my emotions, so my wife, my kids, my brothers, my sisters and my parents all know how hard that was for me.
MLSnet.com: How did it feel to break the record at home, in front of your family and the home fans?
Kreis: It was great for my parents and my two sisters to be there. It was a good crowd -- whether they were there for Freddy [Adu] or for me, I'm not sure. Our fan clubs [the Inferno and La Raza Latina] have supported me for a long time and it was great to score in front of them.
MLSnet.com: How long do you figure your record will stand?
Kreis: The record will be broken quite soon. When you see guys like [Carlos] Ruiz and [Taylor] Twellman scoring 20 goals a season, you figure 20 times 4 1/2 [seasons], and they're there. There's also a guy named Ante Razov in Chicago who's pretty close. Ten years from now, I'd say my record will be pretty far down the list.
MLSnet.com: If you had to bet, who will be the first to break it?
Kreis: I'd say Ante [77 career goals going into Sunday's game vs. L.A.], being just a couple years younger than myself.
MLSnet.com: Do you think a moment like this serves as an emotional lift for your team?
Kreis: I think so. The team gave me a reception in the locker room. It was emotional to see the guys standing in a circle, waiting there for me. This is a pretty tight group, and I hope that this can bring us even closer together.
Keegan Pierce is a contributor to MLSnet.com. This story was not subject tot he approval of Major League Soccer or its clubs.