The 2017 MLS All-Star Game, set for Aug. 2 at Chicago's Soldier Field, will continue a long tradition of important matches at both the club and international levels in the Windy City.
Here's a list of some of the biggest, in chronological order:
Oct. 1, 1984: Soccer Bowl Game 1
Chicago Sting 2, Toronto Blizzard 1 – Comiskey Park
It was the end of an era – the last Soccer bowl of the old NASL, which folded up shop after the 1984 season. By then, despite the name, the Soccer Bowl was a best-of-three series.
The Sting (who played home games at Comiskey Park, home of the Chicago White Sox) fell behind 1-0 on Bruce Wilson's early goal for the Blizzard. They came back with second-half goals from Pato Margetic and Manuel Rojas to take the opening game of the series, though, and then won 3-2 in Toronto to bring down the curtain on the season and the league.
June 17, 1994: First World Cup match on US soil
Germany 1, Bolivia 0 – Soldier Field
This was it: the United States' chance to show the world that it could host the world's game on its biggest stage. Chicago, which hosted three Group C matches, didn't disappoint.
A crowd of more than 63,000 showed up to watch Germany – playing as a unified team at the World Cup for the first time since 1938 – open the tournament with a 1-0 victory over Bolivia (pictured at top). The goalscorer? A future US national team coach named Jurgen Klinsmann.
April 4, 1998: The start of something special
Chicago Fire 2, Tampa Bay Mutiny 0 – Soldier Field
It didn't take the fledgling Chicago Fire – under another future USMNT coach, Bob Bradley – to deliver a home victory in their inaugural season. In the second match of the season, a crowd of 36,444 saw Frank Klopas score a pair of goals to lift the Fire to a 2-0 decision over the Tampa Bay Mutiny.
It was a harbinger of things to come, both for the club and for Klopas, whose final goal of the year delivered the second trophy in club history.
Oct. 20, 1998: Open Cup glory
Chicago Fire 2, Columbus Crew 1 (a.e.t) – Soldier Field
Has any expansion team in any major North American sports league ever had an inaugural season like the Chicago Fire's 1998 campaign? Short answer: Nope.
Not only did the Fire win MLS Cup that year, but a week after that, they cemented a domestic double with their thrilling extra-time victory over Columbus. After the two sides deadlocked at 1-1 through regulation, Jerzy Podbrozny scoring for the Fire and Stern John for Columbus, Klopas netted nine minutes into extra time to deliver the win.
Aug. 5, 2006: All-Stars claim EPL scalp
MLS All-Stars 1, Chelsea 0 – Toyota Park
The Fire's home ground in Bridgeview, Ill., was only a few months old (it opened on June 11 of that year) when it hosted Chicago's first – and until this year, only – MLS All-Star Game.
The league did right by the new venue, winning 1-0 on Dwayne De Rosario's goal in the 70th minute.
June 24, 2007: Benny with his jets
USA 2, Mexico 1 – Soldier Field
The US national team – then coached by Bradley – went into the locker room trailing 1-0 after Mexico's Andres Guardado scored just before the break. That deficit didn't last long past the hour mark, with Landon Donovan burying a penalty kick to draw things level.
Then, in the 73rd, Benny Feilhaber volleyed home an incredible game-winner and gave the Yanks their fourth Gold Cup title. Six years later, the championship match would return to Soldier Field – but this time, the USMNT would be facing an upstart, not a perennial power.
July 28, 2013: Shea delivers to capture Gold Cup
USA 1, Panama 0 – Soldier Field
For the first time since 2005, Mexico didn't make the Gold Cup final. Instead, it was Panama across the pitch for the Klinsmann-coached US – and the up-and-comers would not go away easily.
The game stood deadlocked on zeroes until the 69th minute, when Brek Shea – who'd entered the match for Mix Diskerud just 42 seconds earlier – touched home Alejandro Bedoya's cross from point-blank range. That still stands as the Americans' last title-winning goal in an international tournament.
June 7, 2016: US ignite Copa Centenario run
USA 4, Costa Rica 0 – Soldier Field
This wasn't the highest-level match played in Chicago during the Copa Centenario – that would be eventual champion Chile's 2-0 blanking of Colombia in the semifinal round. But fans who were here won't forget the fireworks display the United States put on in a group-stage match against Costa Rica.