Heaps, Kreis earn top honors from MLS

Former Duke standout and Dallas Burn forward Jason Kreis became the first American-born player to be named Major League Soccer's Most Valuable Player Friday afternoon.

Kreis, the Burn's all-time leading scorer with 48 goals and 34 assists, edged out D.C. United's Marco Etcheverry and Jaime Moreno in the voting for the award conducted by members of the media, MLS team coaching staffs and team general managers.

"I'm thrilled to get this award," he said. "Awards like this have to be any player's lifelong ambition."

Kreis was the first player in MLS history to post 15 goals and 15 assists in a season and just the fourth to collect more than 50 points in a campaign. He won the scoring title with 18 goals and 15 assists for 51 points.

Kreis played at Duke from 1991-94 and was a three-time All-American and is the fourth-leading scorer in school history.

Duke's Jay Heaps, who graduated last season, was named the league's Rookie of the Year. The defender/midfielder for the Miami Fusion appeared in 29 games and played more than 2,500 minutes for the second-year squad. He was the No. 2 pick of last year's draft. While at Duke, he was also a walk-on point guard for the basketball team.

Heaps scored three goals and added one assist in 1999, and he scored his first MLS goal in his professional debut. Heaps led all rookies in minutes played and ranked second in goals, points and games played, while his efforts at right back and on the right flank for the Fusion earned him a U.S. national team selection for the team's Sept. 8 match against Jamaica in Kingston.


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