The Scene: I hate opening this list with two straight DCU wins, but the 1997 MLS Cup Final was the ninth best in my opinion. It was played before a record crowd of more than 57,000 fans at RFK (which was favorable to United).
When the dust settled DCU had beaten the Colorado Rapids 2-1 in a thrilling game that deserves a spot on this list.
The Build-Up: DC United had won the previous year’s Cup, and they had taken the Shield in 1997, so they were big favorites. They rolled through the playoffs too. Their opponent, the lowly Rapids, had finished fourth in the West (out of 5), and with a losing record, yet still made the playoffs. They had barely squeaked past their playoff foes as well.
The Game: DC United surprised no one by taking a first half lead on a Jaime Moreno goal. After they scored again in the 68th minute, everyone basically assumed the title would stay at RFK. But, the Rapids had some fight left in them and notched a thrilling 75th minute goal. DCU held on though and would hoist the trophy for the second time.
The Legacy: This game was significant to MLS because it saw the establishment of the league’s first back-to-back titles. DCU was a super dominant team that season too, so it was nice to see them pull off the MLS Double. As for Rapids’ fans, the game was significant because the team hasn’t been back to the Cup since. Sorry guys, that sucks.