2001 Club by Club
The 2001 MLS season saw the same format from 2000, after it proved highly popular with fans, teams and players. However, following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the season was cut short, as the final two weeks of games were not played. But the postseason continued as normal and provided yet another wonderful storyline.
For the second consecutive season a new name was engraved onto the MLS Cup as the San Jose Earthquakes lifted the trophy at Columbus Crew Stadium. The Earthquakes became the overtime specialists throughout the playoffs, recording overtime wins in the semifinals and the MLS Cup Final.
Dwayne De Rosario scored the overtime winner in the 96th minute of the final against the Los Angeles Galaxy. The Galaxy reached the final for the third time in six years, but lost narrowly yet again as the southern Californians succumbed to a 2-1 defeat after leading 1-0. But Landon Donovan’s goal for San Jose on the stroke of halftime changed the game as the Earthquakes dug in and eventually scored the winner.
The season saw L.A., Chicago and Miami win the Western, Central and Eastern Conferences respectively. Chicago Fire, for the second year in a row, lost out on goal difference in the race for the Supporters’ Shield. The Miami Fusion picked up the trophy as their superior goal difference of plus-15 bettered Chicago’s plus-10.
The Fusion certainly excited crowds across the nation. The destructive attacking duo of Alex Pineda Chacon and Diego Serna tore apart opposition defenses, scoring 34 goals combined. Pineda Chacon was awarded league MVP honors, his 47 points sending Miami out on a high as they left the MLS at the end of the 2001 season.
John Spencer proved his attacking prowess as the former Chelsea star scored 14 times in his first season in MLS with the Colorado Rapids. Tim Howard was awarded the Goalkeeper of the Year award after his impressive displays for the MetroStars.
After their impressive knack of coming up big with late wins, two San Jose stars were given postseason honors. Troy Dayak was given the Comeback Player of the Year, while defender Jeff Agoos was named Defender of the Year. Canadian Frank Yallop won Coach of the Year honors after he led his young Earthquakes side to the title. The solid defensive foundation Yallop built his side on was to reap many benefits in the coming years, as San Jose transformed into one of MLS’ powerhouse clubs.
Most Valuable Player: Alex Pineda Chacón – Miami Fusion
Goalkeeper of the Year: Tim Howard – MetroStars
Scoring Champion: Alex Pineda Chacón – Miami Fusion, 47 points
Rookie of the Year: Rodrigo Faria – MetroStars
Defender of the Year: Jeff Agoos – San Jose Earthquakes
Goal of the Year: Clint Mathis – MetroStars vs. Dallas Burn – April 28, 2001
Coach of the Year: Frank Yallop – San Jose Earthquakes