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The 10 Greatest MLS Cup Finals: What’s #10?

The Scene: The 2004 MLS Cup Final was played in the HDC, the Cathedral of American Soccer, and nearly 25,000 folks were on hand to watch DC United take on the Kansas City Wizards in a classic matchup. In the end, DCU would win their fourth crown (their first since 1999) by a score of 3-2. It was a close game and deserving of the #10 spot.

The Build-Up: DCU (2nd in East) had cruised through the first round of the playoffs by besting the MetroStars 4-0 on aggregate. The Wiz (1st in West) overcame a 2-0 defeat to the Quakes to win the second game 3-0 and advance. The Wiz easily won their Semifinal over LAG, but DCU barely made the Final after beating NER on penalties.

The Game: KCW was favored going into the title match, and a goal in the 6th minute by Jose Burciaga seemed to be in line with expert’s opinions regarding their dominance. But, Alecko Eskandarian scored twice for DCU in a four minute period midway through the first half. After a KCW own goal, the Wiz got one more, but it was too late.

The Legacy: The 2004 MLS Cup Final remains the only one that was decided by an own goal (Zotinca probably should be remembered as MLS’s Scott Norwood). It was a signficant game too because DCU got a red card in the second half but held on to win their record 4th title. All in all, it was a great game, and I think it belongs on this list.