Tuesday, October 15, 2013

15 October 2000 - There's A Saying About Defense And Championships

On 15 October 2000, Kansas City won the MLS Cup over Chicago in a battle of the league's stingiest defense against its most powerful offense.

The two teams ended the season level on points at the top of the table, with Kansas City conceding a league-low 29 goals and Chicago scoring a league-high 67. Kansas City claimed the top spot, however, with a goal differential of +18 to Chicago's +16.

They met at RFK Stadium in Washington for the MLS Cup Final, where Kansas City took an early 1-0 lead with an eleventh-minute goal from Danish striker Miklos Molnar, who had joined them from Sevilla earlier that year and was making his last appearance before retiring. Chicago, led by the season's top scorer Ante Razov, pressed forward in search of an equalizer, but were constantly stymied by the Kansas City defense and goalkeeper Tony Meola, who had kept an MLS-best twenty clean sheets through the season, including four in the MLS Cup playoffs.

Despite a flurry of Chicago chances in the last ten minutes, Kansas City held firm to notch their twenty-first shutout of the year. Meola, who had already won the league's most valuable player, best goalkeeper, and comeback player of the year awards, was named the MLS Cup MVP as well.

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