1996 Major League Soccer season

1996 Major League Soccer season
Season1996
MLS CupD.C. United (1st title)
Supporters' ShieldTampa Bay Mutiny (1st shield)
Matches played160
Goals scored539 (3.37 per match)
Top goalscorerRoy Lassiter
(27 goals)
Longest winning runLos Angeles Galaxy
Games: 12
(04/13 – 06/30)
Longest losing runColumbus Crew
Games: 6
(05/15 – 06/22)
Highest attendanceLos Angeles Galaxy
Season: 462,650
Game Avg.: 28,916
Lowest attendanceColorado Rapids
Season: 163,413
Game Avg.: 10,213
Total attendance2,785,001
Average attendance17,406
1997

The 1996 Major League Soccer season was the inaugural season of Major League Soccer. It was also the 84th season of FIFA-sanctioned soccer, and the 18th with a national first-division league, in the United States and Canada.

Overview[]

Preparation for first season[]

Major League Soccer had originally intended to begin competitive action in 1995. Various difficulties forced the league to postpone its first season until 1996. In preparation for its first season, the league began signing what it called marquee players, beginning with Tab Ramos on January 3, 1995.[1] Beginning in October 1995, the league apportioned the marquee players in the 1996 MLS Inaugural Allocations.[2] Each team received two national team and two foreign players in the allocation.[3] The league then invited about 250 players to a tryout the second week of January 1996 on the campus of UC Irvine.[4] On February 6 and 7, 1996, the league held its 1996 MLS Inaugural Player Draft in which the ten teams selected 160 players over sixteen rounds. The Columbus Crew selected Brian McBride with the first pick of the draft. On March 4, 1996, the league then held the 1996 MLS College Draft followed by the 1996 MLS Supplemental Draft later that day. Despite the numerous drafts, the teams were not obligated to sign only players from the drafts.

Preseason[]

The preseason began the first week of March. The teams reduced their rosters to twenty-two players by March 25 and had to make a final roster reduction to eighteen by April 15.[5] The teams had a $1,200,000 salary cap with no player allowed to receive more than $192,500. In order to promote American players, teams were limited to five foreigners on the roster.[6]

Season[]

The teams played thirty-two games each. Each regulation win was worth three points, a loss counted for zero and a shootout win earned a team one point. Fear of alienating fans with tied games had led the league to adopting the shootout when games ended even. The league also adopted a countdown clock instead of running clock, unlike IFAB's standards, but did it away starting with MLS Cup 1999. The league also divided the teams equally into two conferences – Eastern and Western. The league began its first season on Saturday, April 6, 1996, when the San Jose Clash hosted D.C. United at Spartan Stadium. ESPN carried the game live which the Clash won on a goal by Eric Wynalda. That goal was selected as the 1996 MLS Goal of the Year. The regular season ended on September 22. The playoffs began two days later.

Teams[]

Locations[]

Stadiums[]

Colorado Rapids Columbus Crew D.C. United Dallas Burn Kansas City Wiz
Mile High Stadium Ohio Stadium RFK Memorial Stadium Cotton Bowl Arrowhead Stadium
Capacity: 76,273 Capacity: 102,329 Capacity: 46,000 Capacity: 92,100 Capacity: 81,425
Mile High Stadium on July 13, 1995.jpg Skorry-ohiostadium 6048.jpg RFK Stadium aerial photo, 1988.JPEG CottonBowl.jpg Arrowhead Stadium 2010.JPG
Los Angeles Galaxy New England Revolution NY/NJ MetroStars San Jose Clash Tampa Bay Mutiny
Rose Bowl Foxboro Stadium Giants Stadium Spartan Stadium Houlihan's Stadium
Capacity: 92,542 Capacity: 60,292 Capacity: 80,200 Capacity: 30,456 Capacity: 74,301
Rosebowl.JPG Foxborostade.png Giants Stadium aerial.jpg SPStaSJ.jpg Tampa Stadium1.jpg

Standings[]

Eastern Conference[]

Pos Team Pld W L SOW GF GA GD Pts Qualification
1 Tampa Bay Mutiny 32 19 12 1 66 51 +15 58 Playoffs
2 D.C. United 32 15 16 1 62 56 +6 46
3 NY/NJ MetroStars 32 12 17 3 45 47 −2 39
4 Columbus Crew 32 11 17 4 59 60 −1 37
5 New England Revolution 32 9 17 6 43 56 −13 33
Source: MLS

Western Conference[]

Pos Team Pld W L SOW GF GA GD Pts Qualification
1 Los Angeles Galaxy 32 15 13 4 59 49 +10 49 Playoffs
2 Dallas Burn 32 12 15 5 50 48 +2 41
3 Kansas City Wiz 32 12 15 5 61 63 −2 41
4 San Jose Clash 32 12 17 3 50 50 0 39
5 Colorado Rapids 32 9 21 2 44 59 −15 29
Source: MLS

Overall standings[]

Pos Team Pld W L SOW GF GA GD Pts Qualification
1 Tampa Bay Mutiny (X) 32 19 12 1 66 51 +15 58
2 Los Angeles Galaxy 32 15 13 4 59 49 +10 49 1997 CONCACAF Champions' Cup[a]
3 D.C. United (C) 32 15 16 1 62 56 +6 46
4 Dallas Burn 32 12 15 5 50 48 +2 41
5 Kansas City Wiz 32 12 15 5 61 63 −2 41
6 San Jose Clash 32 12 17 3 50 50 0 39
7 NY/NJ MetroStars 32 12 17 3 45 47 −2 39
8 Columbus Crew 32 11 17 4 59 60 −1 37
9 New England Revolution 32 9 17 6 43 56 −13 33
10 Colorado Rapids 32 9 21 2 44 59 −15 29
Source: MLS
(C) Champion; (X) Supporters' Shield winner
Notes:
  1. ^ Qualified as 1996 MLS Cup finalists

MLS Cup Playoffs[]

Bracket[]

  Conference Semifinals Conference Finals MLS Cup '96
                                   
  E1 Tampa Bay Mutiny 2 1 4  
E4 Columbus Crew 0 2 1  
  E1 Tampa Bay Mutiny 1 1 x  
Eastern Conference
  E2 D.C. United 4 2 x  
E2 D.C. United 2 (5) 1 2
  E3 NY/NJ MetroStars *(pen.) 2 (6)* 0 1  
    E2 D.C. United (aet) 3
  W1 Los Angeles Galaxy 2
  W1 Los Angeles Galaxy 0 2 2  
W4 San Jose Clash 1 0 0  
  W1 Los Angeles Galaxy *(pen.) 2 1 (3)* x
Western Conference
  W3 Kansas City Wiz 1 1 (1) x  
W2 Dallas Burn 2 2 2 (2)
  W3 Kansas City Wiz *(pen.) 3 1 2 (3)*  

Conference semifinals[]

Eastern Conference

New York/New Jersey MetroStars2–2
6–5 (SO)
D.C. United
de Ávila Goal 38'
Savarese Goal 75'
Díaz Arce Goal 24'
Moreno Goal 56'

Columbus Crew0–2Tampa Bay Mutiny
Lassiter Goal 82'87'
Ohio Stadium
Columbus, Ohio
Attendance: 20,807
Referee: Brian Hall
Tampa Bay Mutiny1–2Columbus Crew
Lassiter Goal 26' Paz Goal 1'
McBride Goal 58'
Tampa Bay Mutiny4–1Columbus Crew
Vásquez Goal 3'
Lassiter Goal 41'58'
Pittman Goal 55'
McBride Goal 35'

Western Conference

Kansas City Wiz3–2Dallas Burn
Johnston Goal 16'
McKeon Goal 79'
Preki Goal 89'
Elliott Goal 21'
Ashton Goal 25'
Dallas Burn2–1Kansas City Wiz
Kreis Goal 5'
Washington Goal 32'
Preki Goal 30'
Cotton Bowl
Dallas, Texas
Attendance: 10,125
Dallas Burn2–2
2–3 (SO)
Kansas City Wiz
Sánchez Goal 27'
Elliott Goal 66'
Chung Goal 41'
Takawira Goal 62'
Cotton Bowl
Dallas, Texas
Attendance: 9,802
Referee: Rich Grady

San Jose Clash1–0Los Angeles Galaxy
Ianni Goal 36'
Los Angeles Galaxy2–0San Jose Clash
Fraser Goal 84'
Hurtado Goal 90'
Los Angeles Galaxy2–0San Jose Clash
Hurtado Goal 31'
Cienfuegos Goal 36' (pen.)

Conference finals[]

Eastern Conference

D.C. United4–1Tampa Bay Mutiny
Díaz Arce Goal 36'58'60'
Rammel Goal 54'
Lassiter Goal 42'
Robert F. Kennedy Stadium
Washington, D.C.
Attendance: 23,566
Referee: Kevin Stott
Tampa Bay Mutiny1–2D.C. United
Ralston Goal 14' Williams Goal 49'
Díaz Arce Goal 82'

Western Conference

Los Angeles Galaxy2–1Kansas City Wiz
Armas Goal 48'
Vanney Goal 57'
Preki Goal 52'
Rose Bowl
Pasadena, California
Attendance: 25,212
Referee: Brian Hall
Kansas City Wiz1–1
1–3 (SO)
Los Angeles Galaxy
Preki Goal 69' Vanney Goal 76'

MLS Cup[]

Los Angeles Galaxy2–3 (a.e.t.)D.C. United
Hurtado Goal 5'
Armas Goal 56'
Sanneh Goal 72'
Medved Goal 81'
Pope Golden goal 94'
Foxboro Stadium
Foxborough, Massachusetts
Attendance: 34,643
Weather: Rain, 44 °F
Referee: Esse Baharmast

Player awards[]

Weekly awards[]

Week Player of the Week Club
Week 1 United States Eric Wynalda San Jose Clash
Week 2 United States Brian McBride Columbus Crew
Week 3 United States Marcelo Balboa Colorado Rapids
Week 4 United States Bo Oshoniyi Columbus Crew
Week 5 Venezuela Giovanni Savarese MetroStars
Week 6 United States Brian McBride Columbus Crew
Week 7 Mexico Jorge Campos Los Angeles Galaxy
Week 8 United States Preki Kansas City Wiz
Week 9 United States John Doyle San Jose Clash
Week 10 Ecuador Eduardo Hurtado Los Angeles Galaxy
Week 11 United States Mark Dodd Dallas Burn
Week 12 United States Mark Chung Kansas City Wiz
Week 13 United States Tony Meola MetroStars
Week 14 El Salvador Raúl Díaz Arce D.C. United
Week 15 United States Paul Bravo San Jose Clash
Week 16 United States Cobi Jones Los Angeles Galaxy
Week 17 United States Joe-Max Moore New England Revolution
Week 18 United States Tony Meola MetroStars
Week 19 Uruguay Adrián Paz Columbus Crew
Week 20 Bolivia Marco Etcheverry D.C. United
Week 21 United States Brad Friedel Columbus Crew
Week 22 United States Brian Maisonneuve Columbus Crew
Week 23 Canada Frank Yallop Tampa Bay Mutiny
Week 24 United States Brad Friedel Columbus Crew

Monthly awards[]

Month Player of the Month Club
April El Salvador Mauricio Cienfuegos Los Angeles Galaxy
May Colombia Carlos Valderrama Tampa Bay Mutiny
June Ecuador Eduardo Hurtado Los Angeles Galaxy
July United States Jason Kreis Dallas Burn
August Bolivia Marco Etcheverry D.C. United
September United States Brad Friedel Columbus Crew

End-of-season awards[]

Award Player Club
Most Valuable Player Colombia Carlos Valderrama Tampa Bay Mutiny
Scoring Champion United States Roy Lassiter (58 points) Tampa Bay Mutiny
Defender of the Year United States John Doyle San Jose Clash
Goalkeeper of the Year United States Mark Dodd Dallas Burn
Rookie of the Year United States Steve Ralston Tampa Bay Mutiny
Coach of the Year Netherlands Thomas Rongen Tampa Bay Mutiny
Goal of the Year United States Eric Wynalda San Jose Clash

Player statistics[]

Top goal scorers[]

Rank Player Club Goals
1 United States Roy Lassiter Tampa Bay Mutiny 27
2 El Salvador Raúl Díaz Arce D.C. United 23
3 Ecuador Eduardo Hurtado Los Angeles Galaxy 21
4 United States Preki Kansas City Wiz 18
5 United States Brian McBride Columbus Crew 17
6 United States Steve Rammel D.C. United 14
7 United States Paul Bravo San Jose Clash 13
United States Jason Kreis Dallas Burn
Venezuela Giovanni Savarese NY/NJ MetroStars
Zimbabwe Vitalis Takawira Kansas City Wiz

Goalkeeping leaders[]

(Minimum 1,000 minutes)

No. Player Club Games
Played
Minutes Goals
Against
GA
Average
Wins Loses
1 Mexico Jorge Campos Los Angeles Galaxy 24 2025 27 1.20 13 8
2 United States Dave Salzwedel San Jose Clash 14 1168 17 1.31 9 4
3 United States Tony Meola NY/NJ MetroStars 29 2610 38 1.31 14 15
4 United States Mark Dodd Dallas Burn 31 2776 45 1.46 17 14
5 United States Mark Simpson D.C. United 15 1260 21 1.50 7 6
6 United States Mark Dougherty Tampa Bay Mutiny 28 2520 47 1.68 17 11
7 United States Aidan Heaney New England Revolution 19 1534 29 1.70 8 9
8 United States Tom Liner San Jose Clash 20 1712 33 1.73 7 12
9 United States Garth Lagerwey Kansas City Wiz 23 1959 38 1.75 12 10
10 United States Jim St. Andre New England Revolution 15 1346 27 1.81 6 9
11 England Chris Woods Colorado Rapids 23 2070 43 1.87 8 15
12 United States Jeff Causey D.C. United 19 1620 35 1.94 9 10
13 United States Bo Oshoniyi Columbus Crew 13 1170 33 2.54 3 10

Attendance[]

Club Games Season totals Game average
Los Angeles Galaxy 16 462,650 28,916
NY/NJ MetroStars 16 382,360 23,898
New England Revolution 16 304,392 19,025
Columbus Crew 16 303,202 18,950
San Jose Clash 16 275,712 17,232
Dallas Burn 16 256,173 16,011
D.C. United 16 244,199 15,262
Kansas City Wiz 16 206,044 12,878
Tampa Bay Mutiny 16 186,856 11,679
Colorado Rapids 16 163,413 10,213
Total 160 2,785,001 17,406

Coaches[]

Eastern Conference[]

Western Conference[]

References[]

  1. ^ Ramos Signs With Major League Soccer
  2. ^ Major League Soccer Gets Set for Unveilings
  3. ^ Giants Stadium Will Go Natural Again
  4. ^ Pro Soccer Combine Begins Today at UC Irvine
  5. ^ RAPIDS RELEASE THREE PLAYERS
  6. ^ "The Year in American Soccer - 1995". Archived from the original on February 26, 2012. Retrieved January 27, 2012.

External links[]