2000 MLS Cup

Wizards goalkeeper Tony Meola capped off a remarkable season by making ten saves as Kansas City downed the Chicago Fire 1-0 in MLS Cup 2000 on a Sunday afternoon at RFK Stadium. Miklos Molnar scored the game-winning goal 11 minutes into the contest, and the league’s best defense made it stand up from there.

Meola was named MLS Cup MVP after he earned MLS MVP, Goalkeeper of the Year and Comeback Player of the Year awards for a stellar regular season. The 31-year-old, who set an MLS record with 16 shutouts in the regular season, also set a new mark with five postseason shutouts.

Kansas City took advantage of an early breakdown by Chicago to net the game’s only goal in the 11th minute. Wizards midfielder Chris Klein stole the ball from the Fire’s Diego Gutierrez near midfield and stormed down the right flank toward the box. Klein’s low cross eluded several defenders before Fire midfielder Jesse Marsch failed to clear the ball, allowing Molnar to pounce on it and roll the ball past Fire ‘keeper Zach Thornton for the game’s lone goal.

“The Danish Dynamite’s” goal was his fifth of the playoffs and seventh in his last 10 games. For Klein, the assist was his second in the postseason. Kansas City went 19-2-1 when scoring first in all games in 2000 including playoff contests. The 39,159 fans at RFK Stadium were treated to exciting soccer after Molnar’s goal, with MLS’ best offense hunting for an equalizer against the league’s best defense. Meola ensured the Wizards would capture the first MLS Cup title in club history with several spectacular saves.

Meola’s best sequence came after the 80th minute, when the All-Star made several diving stops from close range in the box. The veteran goalkeeper turned aside quality chances from striker Josh Wolff (82nd minute), midfielder Dema Kovalenko (83rd minute) and legendary forward Hristo Stoitchkov (86th minute).