Welcome back to the Dallas Draft History. In Part 1, we took a look at the four marquee players allocated by MLS to Dallas. This time, we’ll be picking up with the first actual draft.
In this series, I’m taking a look at literally every single player Dallas has ever drafted since 1996. I’ll be going over who each player was, what they did before joining Dallas, and what (if anything) they did after leaving. And for a handful of players, we’ll talk about what they did instead of playing in MLS.
With that, let’s dive back in.
Inaugural Player Draft
Following the allocations, MLS held a 16-round draft comprising players from various other American leagues, indoor and outdoor, as well as a number of other players looking for their shot in MLS. Over 250 players from all over the world were invited to a combine held at UC Irvine in January 1996, and from that pool, the teams filled out their rosters.
Round 1 – Ted Eck
- Born: 14 July, 1966, Illinois
- Signed from: Wichita Wings, NPSL (indoor)
- Games Played: 156 (1996-2001)
- Goals/Assists: 12/10
- International: United States, 13 caps, 1 goal
Ted Eck made his professional debut with the Kansas City Comets in the waning years of the original MISL, and became one of the most prominent indoor soccer stars of the late 80s and early 90s. He bounced around a handful of different indoor teams while playing outdoor summer soccer with the Colorado Foxes. He emerged as a superstar with the Wichita Wings during the 1995-1996 season immediately before joining the Burn.
With the 3rd pick of the 1st round, Dallas picked Ted Eck, and he quickly became a mainstay. From day 1, he played the majority of the season five years running, helping the Burn win the 1997 Open Cup, and was an early fan favorite.
Other than a brief stint with the Sidekicks in the winter of 2000-2001, he stuck with Dallas for the rest of his career, retiring from the team in August 2001.
A striker for most of his career, Eck converted to Holding mid during his later Burn days.
Round 2 – Tom Soehn
- Born: 15 April, 1966, Illinois
- Signed from: Wichita Wings, NPSL (indoor)
- Games Played: 39 (1997-1998)
- Goals/Assists: 2/1
- Moved to: Chicago (1998)
Tom Soehn was Ted Eck’s teammate at the Wings, and like most American names of the early 90s, spent the bulk of his early career indoors. He played nearly 250 games for Wichita before joining MLS in 1996.
Despite being drafted for the inaugural season, he actually arrived injured and led to serious tactical switches before the season began. Soehn recovered by the start of 1997 and started the bulk of the season in the backline.
However, his time in Dallas would prove short-lived, and he was traded to Chicago in July of 1998. He stayed with the Fire until the end of the 2000 season before retiring to become an assistant coach with the team.
When Peter Nowak signed to coach DC United in 2003, Soehn followed his Chicago teammate and took over when Nowak joined the national side. Since then, he’s worked for the Whitecaps, Revolution, and currently coaches Birmingham in USL.
Round 3 – Lawrence Lozzano
- Born: 25 July, 1970, California
- Signed from: Tampico, Mexico
- Games Played: 31 (1996)
- Goals/Assists: 2/1
- Moved to: San Jose (1997)
- International: United States, 7 caps
Lawrence Lozzano was one of only a handful of American players to make a name for himself outside the United States in the early 90s, moving from the legendary 1992 San Francisco Bay Blackhawks to the Los Angeles Salsa to Mexico’s Tampico. Lozzano was the original Hollingshead-style “play anywhere” guy, although he ended up spending the bulk of his time in or around the backline. At the end of the season, Lozzano wanted to go back to California, and was released to join San Jose.
With the Clash, he switched to playing up top, emerging as a consistent goal scorer. Midway through 1998, he was traded to Los Angeles for Harut Karapetyan, but played only 7 games with the Galaxy before being traded again, this time to the MetroStars. Once again, his stint would prove short-lived, playing only 13 games in New York and/or New Jersey before being cut ahead of the 2000 season.
Round 4 – Brian Haynes
- Born: 7 May, 1962, Trinidad and Tobago
- Signed from: Seattle Sounders, A-League
- Games Played: 77 (1996-2000)
- Goals/Assists: 8/3
- Moved to: Wichita Wings, NPSL (indoor)
- International: Trinidad and Tobago, 21 caps, 8 goals
Brian Haynes made his senior national team debut while playing NAIA soccer for Erskine College. He quickly made a name for himself as a professional in the indoor game, scoring 201 goals for the Kansas City Attack (later Comets) in the indoor NPSL. On the outdoor side, he bounced around a number of APSL/A-League teams before settling with the Seattle Sounders in 1995.
Haynes started the bulk of the 1996 season in midfield, but a combination of injuries and age limited his playing time moving forward. He played just 23 minutes in a single game off the bench in 2000 before retiring as a player and joining the Dallas coaching staff.
Haynes kept coaching with Dallas until 2007 when he joined the W-League’s Real Colorado Cougars. After several seasons there, he moved to the Atlanta Silverbacks of the NASL, becoming their head coach during the 2012 season amid Eric Wynalda’s controversial reign. Haynes took the Silverbacks to the 2013 Spring title before losing the Soccer Bowl to the Cosmos. Despite winning Coach of the Year, he was fired late that year.
Round 5 – Jason Kreis
- Born: 29 December, 1972, Nebraska
- Signed from: Raleigh Flyers, USISL
- Games Played: 247 (1996-2004)
- Goals/Assists: 91/65
- Moved to: Real Salt Lake (2005)
- International: United States, 14 caps, 1 goal
If the name Jason Kreis isn’t already intimately familiar to you, dear reader, I cordially invite you to browse the rest of the site. There was simply no bigger name on the team in its first decade than Jason Kreis, and his performances carried the team’s offense.
Kreis scored the first goal in team history, and immediately became a constant starter and one of the most lethal goal scorers in the league. Kreis led the team in goals five times and led the entire league in goals in 1999, winning league MVP.
Kreis stuck with FC Dallas through the end of the 2004 season before being traded to Real Salt Lake as their first player signing. With RSL, he scored their first goal in team history in 2005 and remained a regular starter for their first two seasons. In August, he became the first MLS player to reach 100 goals in the league.
Other than a brief period in the off-season where he was acquired by Toronto during the 2006 Expansion Draft, Kreis played out the rest of his career in Utah before retiring in May 2007 to become the team’s head coach.
As a coach, Kreis took RSL to the playoffs in 2008, won MLS Cup 2009, took RSL to the 2011 CONCACAF Champions League finals, and made the cup again in 2013.
After losing MLS Cup 2013 to Sporting Kansas City, Kreis signed as New York City FC’s head coach for their inaugural season. Since then, he’s coached for Orlando City and currently works as the United States U23 head coach, academy director for Inter Miami, and head coach of Miami’s USL1 affiliate, Fort Lauderdale CF.
Round 6 – Mark Dodd
- Born: 14 September, 1965, Texas
- Signed from: Colorado Foxes, A-League
- Games Played: 92 (1996-1999)
- GAA/Save%: 1.57, .776
- International: United States, 15 caps
Despite having a less flashy and far shorter career than Jason Kreis, Mark Dodd was easily just as important in the team’s early years.
Dodd signed with the Dallas Sidekicks in 1989, though didn’t appear for the team and didn’t make his professional debut until joining the outdoor Colorado Foxes in 1990. With the Foxes, Dodd excelled early, winning APSL West Player of the Year and the All-Star first-team goalkeeper. He helped carry the Foxes to back-to-back APSL titles in 1992 and 1993. During his time in Colorado, Dodd began to feature for the senior national team.
In Dallas, Dodd quickly found the same top-tier form he had in the A-League, winning Goalkeeper of the Year and making the MLS Best XI in 1996, and twice making the All-Star team.
After three seasons as the team’s primary starter, Dodd suffered a serious injury to his right hand, tearing several ligaments and requiring surgery. Despite mostly recovering, the injury ended his career early in the 2000 season. He still holds the team’s records for saves and save percentage.
As I bring this installment to a close, let’s talk a bit about the prevalence of former Colorado Foxes starters who joined Dallas early on. Tom Soehn, Ted Eck, Mark Dodd, and Brian Haynes all spent time with the Foxes on their way to Dallas, and most of their teammates from their title-winning seasons ended up in MLS as well.
The easiest explanation for this? Dave Dir.
Before becoming FC Dallas’s head coach, Dir coached the Foxes for the 1992 and 1993 seasons before leaving in 1994. He was soon asked to join the fledgling Major League Soccer staff as their head of player personnel. He was the first-ever staff hire by the league, and his first task was to assemble the player pool for the draft. He included the majority of the Colorado roster in the pool, alongside a number of other top talents from the A-League.
After signing on as Dallas’s inaugural head coach, Dir led the team for their first 5 seasons, making the playoffs every year and winning the 1997 US Open Cup. He won a total of 87 games with the team before being sacked at the end of the 2000 season.
Since then, he’s worked for Vancouver and Colorado in various roles, served as an assistant with the United States U20 team from 2002 through 2011, and currently works in broadcasting as well as coaching youth soccer.
This concludes Part 2 from 1996. To keep things from getting too long-winded, I’ve decided to break up 1996 into several different parts because, as opposed to 1997 where every team had 6 total picks, in 1996 teams had 22 picks and 4 allocated players, and cramming all of that into a single article would just be a novel.
We’ll be back in the third installment with the next batch of picks from the Inaugural Player Draft along with more stories from Dallas history.