Wednesday, March 21, 2012

21 March 1998 - The Fire Show Their Spark

On 21 March 1998, the Chicago Fire got off to good start, beating fellow MLS expansion team Miami Fusion 2-0 in their first league match.

Chicago and Miami joined MLS that year as the league's eleventh and twelfth teams and met in Fort Lauderdale on the season's opening day. Playing before a crowd of 14,653 at Lockhart Stadium, the two were inseparable in the first half, going into the break scoreless despite playing open and attacking football.

They combined for a total of 30 shots on the day (14 for Chicago and 16 for Miami), though they got only five each on goal. Fortunately for Chicago, two of theirs went in, as Roman Kosecki (76') and Ritchie Kotschau (87') found the back of the net to give the Fire a 2-0 victory.

It was the start to a fantastic season for Chicago, who went on to finish second in the league's Western Conference, then won the MLS Cup with a 2-0 win over DC United in October.

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