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Season review: Clarke's take on the team

Listed below are the 21 players who finished the season with the 2004 Dallas Burn. FCdallas.net looks at the positives each player brought to the team in 2004 as well as getting a synopsis on each player from Head Coach Colin Clarke.

2004 Dallas Burn Player Evaluations:

#00 Jeff Cassar

Positives in 2004: Was a main reason the Burn stayed in the playoff chase for so long after filling in for injured Scott Garlick. Gave the team a lift in net and a consistent goalkeeper as he started 18 straight matches from June 12 - Sept. 25. Stopped a penalty kick from Landon Donovan to preserve win on July 7 in last minute of match.

Head Coach Colin Clarke: "Jeff started the season feeling he was the back-up which he was not happy about. However, he earned the start when Scott got injured and he was one of the big positives of this year. Was very close to becoming our MVP this season."

#1 Scott Garlick

Positives in 2004: Was a character guy who became very supportive of Jeff Cassar after going down with an ankle sprain. Showed leadership and professionalism both on and off the pitch.

Quote from Clarke: "Scotty came in and earned the starting spot in pre-season and then got injured and had to sit behind Jeff for most of the year. Both Scott and Jeff were tremendous pros who would come in every day and work hard. He was nothing but a pleasure to have here and we were lucky to have both Scott and Jeff on this team."

#2 Cory Gibbs

Positives in 2004: Made a big impression during his first MLS season. Was voted by the media as the 2004 Defender of the Year for the Dallas Burn. At 24 years of age, Gibbs has a bright future to look forward to and FC Dallas is glad to have him.

Quote from Clarke: "Cory came in as a young kid in his first year in the league. He got involved in the National set-up and did pretty well. He still has a ways to go and some stuff he needs to learn, but he's going to be a big part of this franchise. We're looking forward to having him here."

#3 Carey Talley

Positives in 2004: Somebody who is good to have because of his versatility and veteran presence in the locker room. Was consistent for Dallas and showed his leadership qualities to his coaches and teammates.

Quote from Clarke: "A good pro who is good to have around the locker room. He's a very versatile player who can play different positions. He came in here and had a pretty solid season."

#4 Chris Gbandi

Positives in 2004: Returned from battling minor injuries last season and missing the entire 2002 season with a torn ACL. Played quite a bit at defender, starting 20 of the 30 matches.

Quote from Clarke: "Started a lot at left back after coming off a season where he battled with injuries. He played quite a bit this season and all-around did pretty well. He still can get better."

#5 Steve Jolley

Positives in 2004: A consistent player who came to play every match. Was a positive influence on the younger players and a character guy in the locker room after coming over from the MetroStars.

Quote from Clarke: "Steve had a good, solid season. You knew what you were going to get from him week in and week out. He works very hard and is an honest player."

#6 Ronnie O'Brien

Positives in 2004: Will be a candidate for MLS Comeback Player of the Year after returning from a broken tibia suffered in 2003. Finished tied for second in the MLS in assists. How he went, the 2004 Dallas Burn went.

Quote from Clarke: "An exceptional player who has plenty of talent and ability. Played well for most of the season, but maybe could have given us more in certain matches. We need Ronnie playing well in every match. He's a very important player to us."

#7 Eddie Johnson

Positives in 2004: You can go on and on about the positives of Eddie Johnson. He tied for the league lead in goals, matured as a player and as a person, made an impact on the U.S. national team and is the future of FC Dallas.

Quote from Clarke: "Eddie came in here and had a great season. Started a little slow, but then found his feet and ended up tying for the top goal scoring spot in the league. Also played for the national team and scored a hat trick with them. He's obviously the future of this franchise."

#8 Oscar Pareja

Positives in 2004: Played his heart out and earned more playing time as the season went on due to gritty play and a healthy body. In the final match of the season against San Jose, he played magnificently and led his teammates by giving an inspiring performance that included scoring a goal.

Quote from Clarke: "Oscar was again the heart and soul of this team as he has been for a long time. He battled some injuries and played more towards the end of the year. Had his best match against San Jose to end the season. He was the one making everything happen."

#9 Jason Kreis

Positives in 2004: Became the MLS leading goal scorer and was selected by Clarke as captain for the team. Showed great leadership qualities and was an impacting presence in the locker room.

Quote from Clarke: "Jason was our captain this year, which was a new role for him. He took it on and did well with it. He probably didn't have the most successful season for Jason as far as goal output, but he did get the all-time MLS leading scorer record which is a huge accomplishment."

#10 Brad Davis

Positives in 2004: Collected a career-high two goals and then added an assist on July 24 versus D.C. United. That week he earned MLS Player of the Week honors and showed his potential. At only 22 years old, the team will look to him to be a leader heading into Frisco.

Quote from Clarke: "Brad came off a very good year the season before and it just didn't seem to happen this year for him. He did show signs of being an impact player for us this season at certain times."

#12 Jordan Stone

Positives in 2004: Great locker room guy, especially for only being 20 years old. Had a positive influence on his teammates despite not playing much.

Quote from Clarke: "He's one of the best pros we have here in Dallas. Jordan's a great kid to have around and really developed a lot this year."

#14 Milton Reyes

Positives in 2004: After not playing through the first 12 matches of the 2004 season, Reyes finished by appearing in 12 of the final 18 matches. He started in nine of those matches and had four of his nine shots in the final two matches of the season.

Quote from Clarke: "It took time for Milton to find his feet and for us to get to know one another. He played a little more towards the end of the year and was good for us. He's an exciting player for the fans to watch because of his athleticism. He's usually in the right spot at the right time."

#15 Eric Quill

Positives in 2004: Came into Dallas as a seven-year MLS veteran. Had an impact on the leadership core for the Burn and appeared in 23 of the 30 matches this season.

Quote from Clarke: "Another experienced player that we brought in and he probably would have like to have played more. He did have some good moments, but I'm sure he'll tell you that he would have wished for a little more of them."

#16 Matt Behncke

Positives in 2004: The Burn earned points in 12 of the 17 matches he played in this year, earning a 7-5-5 mark. Stepped up to a bigger role for Dallas after appearing in just three matches in 2002 and 13 matches in 2003.

Quote from Clarke: "I think Matt has developed a good deal this year. He'll tell you in the 17 games he has played in, we have a pretty good record. He's a kid that doesn't let you down very often and is great to have around."

#17 Simo Valakari

Positives in 2004: Was voted by the media as Team MVP and backed it up with his play on the pitch. Made it very difficult for opposing teams to get anything going in the middle of the field with his hard-nose style of play. Played consistently and tough all year.

Quote from Clarke: "At the start of the year people wondered who this guy was, but to me he was our MVP this season. He's another great pro and was something we were missing in the middle of the park. He comes in and works hard every day and is a great guy to have around."

#18 Toni Nhleko

Positives in 2004: Despite playing in only 23 matches with 13 starts, finished second on the team in goals (6) and tied for second in points (14). Also tallied two game-winning goals for the Burn.

Quote from Clarke: "He started the season pretty lively. Toni has to be careful that he stays fit and healthy. He showed us at times what he is capable of on the field though."

#19 Bobby Rhine

Positives in 2004: In just six starts in 2004, tallied two goals and two assists for six points. Was playing with confidence and sharpness before suffering an MCL sprain in May.

Quote from Clarke: "Bobby started the season and was good for us. Then he suffered an injury and was out for about three months before he ever felt right again. He'll be disappointed with his season because he was playing so well before the injury."

#20 Clarence Goodson

Positives in 2004: During his limited play and in training, showed the organization what kind of player he can become in the future. Has great size at 6-4, 165-pounds and will look for more chances next year.

Quote from Clarke: "Good rookie that had to learn the day to day work of being a pro. He still picked it up pretty quickly and will be a good player for us in the future."

#21 Ramon Nunez

Positives in 2004: Appeared in eight matches this season getting his first professional season under his belt. He'll look to improve upon and learn from everything that was taught to him heading into next season. Will turn 19 years old in November.

Quote from Clarke: "He came in with a big reputation. He found it difficult to grasp the concept of what it takes to be a professional soccer player. He has definitely learned from it this year and has a bright future in the game."

#22 Philip Salyer

Positives in 2004: Stared the first 16 matches of the season for the team. In just his second season with the Burn, will look to build upon the experiences he obtained this year as the team moves to Frisco next year.

Quote from Clarke: "He came in and started for us at the beginning of the season. He now knows what he needs to work on to get better and earn his starting spot back. He will be another valuable member to this team."

#23 Ty Maurin

Did not appear in a match in 2004, but has an upside to him after coming over from UCLA. At UCLA in 2003, was second team All-Pac-10 after earning honorable mention in 2002.

Quote from Clarke: "Ty is someone who has shown a willingness to work and improve from the day one. He will continue to develop as a player and will hopefully come in next year and push for a starting spot."

#25 David Wagenfuhr

Also did not appear in a match in 2004. Worked very hard during training sessions to become a better player. Is only 22 years old after coming over from Creighton University. In 2003 was a semifinalist for the Missouri Athletic Club Hermann Trophy and was honored on the Missouri Valley Conference First Team.

Quote from Clarke: "David started very well in preseason and was really challenging for a starting spot. After getting injured at the worst possible time, he got knocked back quite a bit. He is a good young player though and we look for promising things out of him in the future."


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