MLS Cup 2000
MLS Cup 2000 was the fifth edition of the MLS Cup, the championship match of Major League Soccer (MLS), which took place on October 15, 2000, at Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium in Washington, D.C. It was contested by the Kansas City Wizards and Chicago Fire to decide the champion of the 2000 MLS season. Kansas City became the first Western Conference team to win the MLS Cup, with the lone goal of the match scored in the 11th minute by Miklos Molnar. It was also the first MLS Cup to not feature a team from the Eastern Conference club, due to the three-division system used from 2000 to 2001.
|Date||October 15, 2000|
|Venue||Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium, Washington, D.C., US|
|Man of the Match||Tony Meola|
(Kansas City Wizards)
|Weather||Sunny, 77 °F (25 °C)|
Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium in Washington, D.C., the home of D.C. United, was chosen to host MLS Cup 2000. It previously hosted MLS Cup 1997, in which the hosts won their second league championship, as well as international competitions like the 1994 FIFA World Cup and 1996 Olympics men's soccer tournament. The 2000 final was the first MLS final to not have D.C. United competing in it, as the team failed to qualify for the playoffs.
At the time of the match in October 2000, seating capacity of the stadium was 56,454 spectators. RFK Stadium was officially announced as the host on February 23, 2000, beating out the favored bid from Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida, which was complicated by a scheduling conflict with a college football team.
The match began with Chicago on the offensive early, with Ante Razov and Hristo Stoitchkov creating several attempts within the first ten minutes. In the 11th minute, however, Wizards midfielder Chris Klein stole the ball from Chicago's Diego Gutiérrez near midfield and stormed down the touch line. Klein's cross from the right wing made contact with Fire midfielder Jesse Marsch who failed to clear the ball, allowing Miklos Molnar to make light contact and roll the ball past keeper Zach Thornton for the only goal of the match. The Fire responded by using its attacking forces to find an equalizer, but failed to break the Wizards defense and goalkeeper Tony Meola, who made ten saves in the final. Meola earned his 5th shutout of the playoffs in addition to 16 clean sheets to his name from the regular season.
|Kansas City Wizards||1–0||Chicago Fire|
Man of the Match:
- Goff, Steven (October 20, 2017). "American soccer made its home at aging, funky RFK Stadium". The Washington Post. Retrieved August 7, 2019.
- "The Road to M.L.S. Cup ´00". The New York Times. September 14, 2000. Retrieved December 4, 2019.
- Page, Rodney (October 7, 1999). "Tampa Bay closes in on hosting MLS Cup". Tampa Bay Times. p. C10. Retrieved August 7, 2019 – via Newspapers.com.
- Goff, Steven (February 24, 2000). "RFK to Host Its Second MLS Title Game". The Washington Post. p. D7. Retrieved August 7, 2019.
- Ward, Bill (February 16, 2000). "MLS Cup won't be in Tampa". The Tampa Tribune. p. C1. Retrieved August 7, 2019 – via Newspapers.com.