PASADENA – The Chicago Fire ended D.C. United’s quest for an MLS Cup three-peat with a 2-0 win in front of 51,250 fans at The Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California.
In just the club’s first year of existence, Chicago captured both the MLS Cup and US Open Cup titles.
Chicago forward Jerzy Podbrozny opened the scoring in the 29th minute off a feed from Peter Nowak, who had a nice exchange with Ante Razov before picking out the Polish striker for an easy tap-in at the far post.
Moments before halftime, Chicago doubled their lead when Diego Gutierrez found the back of the net. Gutierrez redirected a shot from Nowak, who earned MVP honors for his two assists, and pushed it past United goalkeeper Tom Presthus.
The Fire’s defense stymied the potent D.C. attack with Chicago goalie Zach Thornton tallying eight saves. Defender Chris Armas was able to shut down the explosive Marco Etcheverry, D.C.’s main target and MLS regular-season MVP, en route to the first shutout in the three-year Cup history.
MLS Cup III: October 25, 1998
Rose Bowl, Pasadena, California
MVP: Peter Nowak (CHI)
CHI -- Jerzy Podbrozny 1 (Peter Nowak 1, Ante Razov 2) 29
CHI-- Diego Gutierrez 1 (Peter Nowak 2) 45
DC-- Tony Sanneh (caution; Reckless foul) 20
CHI -- Ante Razov (caution; Reckless foul) 31
DC -- Marco Etcheverry (caution; Reckless foul) 33
CHI -- Diego Gutierrez (caution; Reckless foul) 50
CHI -- Jesse Marsch (caution; Reckless foul) 60
Chicago Fire -- Zack Thornton, C.J. Brown, Lubos Kubik, Francis Okaroh, Chris Armas, Diego Gutierrez, Jesse Marsch, Peter Nowak (Josh Wolff 79), Jerzy Podbrozny, Roman Kosecki (Frank Klopas 56), Ante Razov (Tom Soehn 74).
D.C. United -- Tom Presthus, Jeff Agoos, Carlos Llamosa (Mike Silvinski 81), Eddie Pope, Tony Sanneh (A.J. Wood 70), Marco Etcheverry, John Harkes, Ben Olsen, Richie Williams, Roy Lassiter, Jaime Moreno.
Referee: Kevin Terry
Referee's Assistants: Chip Reed, Laszio Negy
4th Official: Paul Tamberino
Weather: Partly Cloudy, 74 degrees