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Mathis shatters record with five goals, Metros overcome Dallas 6-4, clinching first in East.

DALLAS (Saturday, August 26, 2000) -- Striker Clint Mathis fired home a Major League Soccer record five goals, but the MetroStars needed a late rally to dispose of the Dallas Burn 6-4 before 12,940 at the Cotton Bowl tonight.

The MetroStars (16-10-3) clinched the Eastern Division title, the first time it has finished first in the standings, and now has a league-best 51 points.

Clint Mathis
Five goals by Clint Mathis (13) propelled him to second place in the MLS scoring race.
"We did a great job of putting pressure on all night on the Burn defense. Things just seemed to go our way during the game," Mathis said. "I was in the zone and every shot I took went in each time. However, what is important tonight is not my five goals, but the fact that we won the Eastern Division Title. That is such a great accomplishment for us this season."

The MetroStars trailed 4-3 before Mathis tied the game with his fourth goal of the evening when he fired a 15-yard shot off a poor goal-line clearance by Dallas midfielder Oscar Pareja in the 67th minute.

Five minutes after Dallas defender JorgeRodriguez was sent off for a tackle on Tab Ramos in the 78th minute, Mathis netted his final tally for a 5-4 lead on a penalty kick, called after midfielder Chad Deering brought down Billy Walsh during a scramble in front of the net.

Second-half substitute, striker Adolfo Valencia finalized the MetroStars' advantage in the 88th minute with a 40-yard dash on goal, scoring on a tap-in of the rebound of his own shot after a save by goalkeeper Matt Jordan.

With the goal, Valencia broke the MetroStars’ season mark for goals with 15. Mathis now is second in MLS scoring with 16 goals and 14 assists for 46 points, but three of those goals came in a Los Angeles Galaxy uniform before he was traded early in the season.

His five goals eclipsed the previous mark of four established by D.C. United forward Raul Diaz Arce on July 7, 1996 and duplicated April 12, 1997. Mathis’ 10 points bettered the eight by Diaz Arce in those two games, as well as eight by midfielders Preki of the Kansas City Wizards and Cobi Jones of the Los Angeles Galaxy in 1998.

Mathis kicked off the scoring in the third minute. Midfielder Roy Myers sent a pass to Alex Comas at the top of the penalty area. With his back to goal, the Colombian forward sent a surprise heel pass on the left side of the box to Mathis who beat Jordan from 10 yards out with a left-footed strike to the lower right corner.

The Metros took a 2-0 lead in the 26th minute when midfielder Petter Villegas launched Comas on a break down the right flank. Comas made a 40-yard run into the box and his shot was saved by Jordan, but an onrushing Mathis had an easy touch into the open net on the rebound.

The Burn took only 30 seconds to get back to 2-1. Pareja sent a slicing cross into the box from the right side where forward Ariel Graziani met the ball with a chest trap that split two defenders. The Ecuadorian international easily lifted a shot into the roof of the net with only Metros goalkeeper Tim Howard to beat.

Mathis restored the visitors' two-goal lead with another strike in the 40th minute. Comas registered his third assist with a brilliant pass on a crisscross pattern with Mathis who was cutting to the right side of the box. The Conyers, Ga., native rifled a powerful right-footed shot inside the near post to make it 3-1.

The Burn then ran off three unanswered tallies to take a 4-3 lead. Rodriguez beat the Metros' offside trap and was served in open space on the right side of the box. The Salvadoran international easily slotted his shot past Howard to make the score 3-2 at intermission.

Burn rookie Antonio Martinez entered in the 53rd minute and have a hand in the next two goals. One minute after coming on the field, Martinez sent a cross into the box from the left side which Jason Kreis directed to Pareja. The Colombian midfielder blasted a 15-yard shot into the net to tie the score at 3-3.

Martinez then scored himself in the 65th minute from the left side of the box after receiving perfect service from Rodriguez to make it 4-3.

MetroStars 6, Dallas Burn 4

Lineups: MetroStars - Tim Howard, Steve Jolley, Thomas Dooley, Mike Petke, Billy Walsh, Tab Ramos, Mark Chung, Petter Villegas, Roy Myers (Ramiro Corrales 59), Clint Mathis (Mark Semioli 87), Alex Comas (Adolfo Valencia 59). Dallas - Matt Jordan, Richard Farrer, Jorge Rodriguez, Eric Dade, Mark Santel, Lazo Alavanja (Ted Eck 65), Chad Deering (Aleksey Korol 86), Paul Broome (Antonio Martinez 53), Oscar Pareja, Ariel Graziani, Jason Kreis.

MetroStars - Mathis (Comas, Myers) 3;
MetroStars - Mathis (Comas, Villegas) 26;
Dallas - Graziani (Pareja, Santel) 26;
MetroStars - Mathis (Comas, Villegas) 40;
Dallas - Rodriguez (Deering, Broome) 46+;
Dallas - Pareja (Kreis, Martinez) 54;
Dallas - Martinez (Rodriguez) 64;
MetroStars - Mathis (Petke) 68;
MetroStars - Mathis (penalty kick) 83;
MetroStars - Valencia (unassisted) 88.

Total shots: MetroStars 15 (Mathis 6), Dallas 23 (Kreis 6). Shots on goal: MetroStars 10 (Mathis 5), Dallas 10 (Graziani 2, Pareja 2). Saves: MetroStars - Howard 6, Dallas - Jordan 3. Fouls: MetroStars 13 (five players with 2), Dallas 17 (Dade 4, Kreis 4). Offside: MetroStars 4, Dallas 4. Corner kicks: MetroStars 3, Dallas 2. Yellow card cautions: MetroStars - Dooley 53, Villegas 76, Jolley 80; Dallas - Kreis 35, Graziani 72, Pareja 80. Red card ejections: Dallas - Rodriguez 77. Possession percentage: MetroStars 47%, Dallas 53%.

Referee: Ricardo Valenzuela. Referee's assistants: Kermit Quisenberry, Misail Tsapos. Attendance: 12,940 at Cotton Bowl in Dallas, Tex. Weather: Windy, 101 degrees, sunny, hot.

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