The Scene: The 2000 MLS Cup Final was contested between the Kansas City Wizards and the Chicago Fire and it was a memorable game. Played before nearly 40,000 fans at RFK, the game featured amazing defense and a tense atmosphere.
When the final whistle blew, the Wiz had narrowly won their first (and only) MLS Cup over the Fire, 1-0.
The Build-Up: The Wiz had won the Supporters Shield in 2000 and featured the league’s most stifling defense. The Fire had won the Cup two years earlier and had actually lost a tie with the Wiz for the Shield. Both teams had some issues throughout the playoffs, but eventually bested their rivals to qualify for the Final. It would be a great one, too.
The Game: Early in the game, some shoddy defense led to KCW’s Miklos Molnar notching a goal. For the rest of the game, the Fire offense brutally attacked the Wiz’s defense, but Tony Meola put on perhaps the best goalkeeping display in MLS Cup Final history, saving ten shots and securing the victory for the Wiz. It was an amazing match.
The Legacy: The 2000 Final was significant because it featured the league’s two best teams, which hardly ever happens in any sport with playoffs. Also, it was a rare occurrence where a goalkeeper, Mr. Meola (aka “The Pony-Tailed One”), would be named the MLS Cup Final Man of the Match. All in all, it was good soccer, and that’s why it’s #7.