Those associated with the Women’s United Soccer Assn. were not the only ones to hit the unemployment line on Monday. Mike Jeffries, coach of Major League Soccer’s Dallas Burn, was fired with his club mired in last place in the Western Conference and suffering through its worst season in team history at 4-16-4.
Jeffries, who was in his third season running the Burn and had a record of 26-36-8, was replaced by assistant Colin Clarke on an interim basis.
“Mike and his staff have worked very hard and we had all hoped for a turnaround, but it doesn’t seem to be happening,” Hunt Sports President John Wagner said on the MLS Web site. “We have an obligation to the fan base of the Dallas Burn and Major League Soccer to put a competitive team on the field ... We are appreciative of the efforts that Mike has put into his position, but it is one of the realities of sports that a team must be expected to be competitive.
“We obviously cannot expect miracles ... Clarke is a native of Northern Ireland and brings strong playing and coaching credentials to the Burn ... and he will be considered among other candidates for the future head-coaching position.”
The Burn is one of only two MLS clubs, along with the Galaxy, to qualify for the playoffs every year since the league’s inception in 1996. But with six games remaining, Dallas is 13 points behind the Galaxy and Kansas City Wizards for the conference’s fourth and final playoff spot.
Dallas, which has scored a league-low 26 goals while giving up a league-high 51, will open its new 20,000-seat stadium in 2005 in Frisco, Texas.
Meanwhile, in Mexico
Javier Saavedra’s 63rd minute-goal proved to be the difference as Nuevo Leon remained in a first-place tie with Tecos of Guadalajara in Group 3 with a 3-2 win over Chivas over the weekend.
Nuevo Leon played the final 46 minutes a man down after Mario Ruiz was hit with his second yellow card.
Walter Gaitan’s score in the 37th minute had given Nuevo Leon a 2-1 lead and was also the Argentine’s sixth goal of the winter league season, tying him with Atlante’s Gabriel Rey for the league lead.
Rey, a Colombian, scored twice in Atlante’s 3-0 win at Veracruz.
In other seventh-week matches: Chiapas shocked Cruz Azul, 3-1, with goals by Lucio Filomenio, Salvador Cabanas and Felipe Ayala; Monterrey used goals by Hector Castro, Walter Erviti and Luis Ernesto Perez to beat Real San Luis, 3-2, and negate a two-goal game by Marcelo de Faria; and Jose Tabares led Necaxa Rayos to a 1-0 victory over Queretaro, scoring in the 65th minute.
A First in England
Leicester City stunned Leeds United, 4-0, Monday for its first victory since gaining promotion to English Soccer’s Premiership. Paul Dickov scored twice and Lilian Nalis and James Scowcroft each had a goal for Leicester.
Inter Milan striker Christian Vieri and Manchester United captain Roy Keane will sit out their respective teams’ Champions League games because of ankle injuries. Vieri was injured in Italy’s game against Serbia and Montenegro last Wednesday.
Keane was injured Saturday at Charlton.
Inter Milan plays at Arsenal on Wednesday and United plays host to Panathinaikos today.
The Galaxy will announce a partnership with AYSO in a news conference today....Defender Hong Myung-Bo will stage a clinic for Japanese, Chinese and Korean children at the Home Depot Center on Thursday at 5:30 p.m. Cost is $40 and includes an autograph and photo session, a Galaxy soccer ball and two tickets to Saturday’s game against D.C. United.
Times wire services contributed to this report.