|John Harkes, lifting the first MLS "Cup"|
In 1996 our domestic league was in its infancy. A Washington D.C. club with a European-sounding "United" slapped on the end faced off against the "Galaxy" (an American sports team name if you've ever heard one) of Los Angeles on a soggy football field in Boston, Massachusetts.
Years later we would call the '96 D.C. United one of the league's most successful teams, and the beginning of its first dynasty. LA would have to wait six years for their first title and, in 2011, perhaps a shot a establishing their own domestic reign.
Eddie Pope would etch his name (and D.C. United's on the "cup") in the early lore of MLS history with his dramatic, extra-time winner, bringing United back from a 2-0 deficit in the final 17 minutes, to win 3-2.
Seventeen. There's that number again. A fine number to remember such an amazing part of American soccer history.
A YouTube channel called "Kick" has uploaded the entire MLS Cup 1996 (and several other "classic" matches) for your viewing pleasure (below). If you've seen it before... watch it again. If you're newer to MLS and American soccer it's required viewing to understand how far we've come in such a short time.
Seventeen years isn't too long after all.
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