MLS Cup 1998
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MLS Cup 1998
MLS Cup '98
MLS Cup 98 logo.gif
Date October 25, 1998
Venue Rose Bowl, Pasadena, California, US
Man of the Match Piotr Nowak
(Chicago Fire)
Attendance 51,350
Weather Partly Cloudy, 74 °F (23 °C)
MLS Cup '97

MLS Cup '98 was the final playoff match of the 1998 Major League Soccer season, the 3rd season of first-division professional soccer in the United States since the collapse of the original North American Soccer League.

The match took place on Sunday, October 25, 1998, at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California, between Chicago Fire Soccer Club and D.C. United. It was the third consecutive appearance in the MLS Cup final by D.C. United and the first appearance by an expansion club (Chicago) in the final. Chicago Fire won the match 2-0, with goals from Jerzy Podbro?ny and Diego Gutiérrez. In doing so, Chicago became the first expansion club to win MLS Cup, astonishingly in the team's inaugural season. The win also completed a domestic double for the Fire, the first American club to win both a league championship and the U.S. Open Cup in a single season. DC in turn became the first team to reach three consecutive finals (still standing as of date) and the first club to fail to score.

As the top two finishers in the MLS Cup Playoffs, both D.C. United and Chicago Fire earned the right to represent the United States in the 1999 CONCACAF Champions' Cup. The clubs faced off once again in the third-place match of the continental tournament, almost a year after meeting in MLS Cup '98. That game ended in a 2-2 draw.


The Rose Bowl hosted the MLS Cup final for the first time.

The Rose Bowl was the venue chosen by Major League Soccer to host the 1998 MLS Cup final. The home ground of Los Angeles Galaxy from 1996 to 2003, the venerable stadium opened in 1922 and previously hosted events for the 1932 and 1984 Olympic Games. The Rose Bowl was also the site of the final matches for both FIFA World Cup 1994 and FIFA Women's World Cup 1999.

Local side Los Angeles Galaxy barely missed the opportunity to play for MLS Cup at home after falling to eventual champions Chicago Fire in the Western Conference finals.


The match began with great enthusiasm as D.C. United forward Jaime Moreno threatened early with a shot over Chicago's crossbar within the first minute. Chicago's first goal arrived after 29 minutes, following a quick exchange between Polish international Piotr Nowak and Ante Razov just inside the corner of D.C.'s 18-yard box. The move lured United goalkeeper Tom Presthus off his line, at which point Nowak passed across the box to oncoming Fire midfielder Jerzy Podbro?ny who scored an easy tap-in at the back post. Nowak almost scored a second goal when his 45th minute shot deflected off the body of his teammate, Diego Gutiérrez. Nowak was credited with his second assist of the match, and Chicago headed into the second half with all the momentum and maintained the clean sheet on the way to the club's first league championship. Chris Armas played a significant role in his team's victory by neutralizing the playmaking ability of roaming midfielder Marco Etcheverry, a key ball distributor in United's attack and the league leader in assists that season. MLS Goalkeeper of the Year Zach Thornton was prolific with 8 saves on the day, including 3 from previous MLS Golden Boot winner and United's leading scorer, Roy Lassiter.


Attendance: 51,350
Weather: Partly Cloudy, 74°F
Referee: Kevin Terry
GK 22 United States Tom Presthus
RB 20 United States Tony Sanneh YC 25' Substituted off 70'
CB 23 United States Eddie Pope
CB 18 United States Carlos Llamosa Substituted off 81'
LB 12 United States Jeff Agoos
RM 14 United States Ben Olsen
DM 16 United States Richie Williams
AM 10 Bolivia Marco Etcheverry (c) YC 33'
LM 6 United States John Harkes
CF 15 United States Roy Lassiter
CF 9 Bolivia Jaime Moreno
DF 7 United States A.J. Wood Substituted in 70'
DF 19 United States Mike Slivinski Substituted in 81'
United States Bruce Arena
GK 18 United States Zach Thornton
RB 2 United States C.J. Brown
CB 5 Czech Republic Lubo? Kubík
CB 20 Nigeria Francis Okaroh
LB 8 United States Diego Gutiérrez YC 50'
RM 14 United States Chris Armas
CM 15 United States Jesse Marsch YC 60'
CM 9 Poland Jerzy Podbro?ny
LM 10 Poland Piotr Nowak (c) Substituted off 85'
CF 11 Poland Roman Kosecki Substituted off 56'
CF 12 United States Ante Razov YC 31' Substituted off 74'
FW 41 United States Frank Klopas Substituted in 56'
MF 6 United States Tom Soehn Substituted in 74'
FW 16 United States Josh Wolff Substituted in 85'
United States Bob Bradley

Man of the Match:
Poland Piotr Nowak (Chicago Fire)

Assistant referees:
Chip Reed
Laszio Negy
Fourth official:
Paul Tamberino

Match rules

  • 90 minutes.
  • Penalty shoot-out if scores still level after regular time. Outfield player takes the ball 35 yards from goal and is given five seconds to attempt to score on the goalkeeper.
  • Maximum of three substitutions.


D.C. United Chicago Fire
Goals scored 0 2
Total shots 22 10
Shots on target 8 4
Saves 1 8
Ball Possession 52% 48%
Corner kicks 9 9
Fouls Committed 8 27
Offsides 1 5
Yellow Cards 2 3
Red Cards 0 0


  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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