CARSON – The San Jose Earthquakes defeated the Chicago Fire, 4-2, to win their second MLS Cup in front of 27,000 fans at The Home Depot Center in Carson, California.
The Earthquakes’ Ronnie Ekelund put San Jose ahead 1-0 when he capitalized on a free kick just five minutes into the game. Landon Donovan doubled San Jose’s lead after his left-footed shot found the back of the net in the 38th minute, sending the Fire into halftime trailing 2-0.
DaMarcus Beasley cut the deficit to one four minutes after the restart when he connected for the regular-season champion Chicago. The Fire’s celebration was short lived, however, as San Jose’s Richard Mulrooney responded a minute later to push the Earthquakes’ lead to 3-1.
An own goal by San Jose substitute Chris Rooner in the 54th minute brought Chicago back into the game, and just a minute later, the Fire’s Damani Ralph, MLS Rookie of the Year, was brought down from behind in the box by Eddie Robinson. Ante Razov attempted to bring Chicago level, but his penalty kick was saved by a diving Pat Onstad.
Donovan, who earned MVP honors, hammered home a cross from Dwayne De Rosario in the 71st minute to seal the victory for the Earthquakes.
SJ -- Ronnie Ekelund 1 (unassisted) 5
SJ -- Landon Donovan 3 (Jamil Walker 2) 38
CHI -- DaMarcus Beasley 1 (Andy Williams 1, Kelly Gray) 49
SJ -- Richard Mulrooney 1 (Brian Mullan 1) 50
CHI -- own goal 1 (Chris Roner 1) 54
SJ -- Landon Donovan 4 (Dwayne De Rosario 1, Brian Mullan 2) 71
SJ -- Craig Waibel (caution; Tackle from behind) 15
SJ -- Eddie Robinson (caution; Professional foul) 54
San Jose Earthquakes -- Pat Onstad, Jeff Agoos, Troy Dayak, Eddie Robinson, Craig Waibel (Chris Roner 51), Ronnie Ekelund, Manny Lagos (Ian Russell 70), Brian Mullan, Richard Mulrooney, Landon Donovan, Jamil Walker (Dwayne De Rosario 60).
Substitutes Not Used: Jon Conway, Josh Saunders, Ramiro Corrales, Todd Dunivant, Rodrigo Faria, Roger Levesque.
Chicago Fire -- Zach Thornton, Carlos Bocanegra, Jim Curtin (Nate Jaqua 81), Orlando Perez (Kelly Gray 47+), Evan Whitfield, Chris Armas, DaMarcus Beasley, Jesse Marsch, Andy Williams (Justin Mapp 70), Damani Ralph, Ante Razov.
Substitutes Not Used: William Hesmer, Tony Meola, Justin Detter, Francisco Gomez, Taylor Graham, Shavar Thomas.
Referee: Brian Hall
Referee's Assistants: Craig Lowry, Darren Engers
4th Official: Noel Kenny
Weather: Sunny, 71 degrees