Weekly update: Home sweet home
BURN TO HOST METROSTARS SATURDAY AT COTTON BOWL
The Burn will look to continue their good form at home as they host the MetroStars this Saturday, September 25 at 7:30 p.m. at the Cotton Bowl. Dallas (10-11-5, 35 points) currently occupies the fourth and final playoff spot in the West. The MetroStars (10-10-6, 36 points) are currently in second place in the Eastern Conference. The first 5,000 fans at Saturday's match will receive Dallas Burn mini soccer balls courtesy of Texans Credit Union.
BURN/METROSTARS SERIES NOTES
Dallas leads the all-time series vs. the MetroStars, 12-10-1...the two teams have squared off twice this year, both times at Giants Stadium, with the Burn taking a 2-0 victory on June 5 and a 1-0 win on August 15...the Burn is unbeaten in their last three meetings vs. the Metros (2-0-1)...the MetroStars have not scored in their last three meetings vs. the Burn, a span of 270 minutes...their last goal vs. Dallas was a John Wolyniec overtime winner on July 19, 2003...11 of the 23 matches in the all-time series have been decided by one goal...Jason Kreis has 11 goals and six assists for 28 points in 22 career matches vs. the MetroStars.
BURN HEATING UP AT HOME
After an uncharacteristic run of poor play at home to start the season, the Burn has taken advantage of their home pitch of late. Through the first eight home matches of the season, the Burn posted a 2-3-3 record for a winning percentage of .438, which was tied for the lowest home winning percentage in the league. In the last five home matches, they have posted a 4-1-0 record and have outscored the opposition 12-5 over that span. Two of the team's final four matches in the 2004 regular season will be played at the Cotton Bowl.
JOHNSON TIED FOR LEAGUE-LEAD IN GOAL SCORING
With a pair of goals in Saturday's 2-0 victory over Los Angeles, Burn forward Eddie Johnson is currently tied for first in the league in the quest for the Golden Boot (goal-scoring leader). Johnson now has 11 goals on the year, including a league-high seven game-winners. The last time the Burn had a player at the top of the goal-scoring charts this late in the season was in 1999 when Jason Kreis finished tied for the top spot in goals scored with 18.
THE PLAYOFF PICTURE
With their 2-0 victory over Los Angeles on Saturday, combined with San Jose's loss at Kansas City, the Burn has reclaimed the fourth and final playoff spot in the West. The Burn currently leads the Earthquakes by one point, are just three points back of Los Angeles, four points behind Colorado and six points below conference-leading Kansas City. Following is a breakdown of the remaining matches for the Western Conference teams:
Kansas City - vs. Colorado, @ Los Angeles, @ San Jose, vs. Los Angeles
Colorado - @ Kansas City, vs. San Jose, vs. Columbus
Los Angeles - @ San Jose, vs. Kansas City, vs. Dallas, @ Kansas City
Dallas - vs. MetroStars, @ New England, @ Los Angeles, vs. San Jose
San Jose - vs. Los Angeles, @ Colorado, vs. Kansas City, @ Dallas
Ronnie O'Brien, Left ankle sprain
Ramon Nunez, Left knee