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The 2004 Major League Soccer season culminated with D.C. United winning its fourth MLS Cup championship.

2004 Major League Soccer season
Season2004
MLS CupD.C. United (4th title)
Supporters' ShieldColumbus Crew (1st shield)
Matches played150
Goals scored392 (2.61 per match)
Top goalscorerBrian Ching
San Jose Earthquakes Goals: 12
Eddie Johnson
Dallas Burn
Goals: 12
Biggest home winNE 6–1 COL
Biggest away winLA 0–3 NY
DAL 0–3 NE
CHI 0–3 COL
Highest scoringSJ 5–5 NY
Longest winning runColumbus Crew
Games: 4
(05/15 – 06/06)
Columbus Crew
Games: 4
(09/04 – 09/25)
Longest unbeaten runColumbus Crew
Games: 18
(07/03/2004)
Longest losing runDallas Burn
Games: 4
(05/08 – 05/29)
Highest attendanceLos Angeles Galaxy
Season: 357,137
Game Avg.: 23,809
Lowest attendanceDallas Burn
Season: 136,319
Game Avg.: 9,088
Average attendanceMLS
Season: 2,333,797
Game Avg.: 15,559
2003
2005

The biggest news in the beginning of the season was the signing of 14-year-old prodigy Freddy Adu, who made his debut as a substitute in United's season opener and scored his first goal several games later against the rival MetroStars. Adu contributed as a substitute on D.C.'s championship team, scoring five goals as the youngest player in North American sports history.

The season saw the emergence of forwards Brian Ching (San Jose) and Eddie Johnson (Dallas Burn|Dallas) as formidable forwards, not only for their MLS teams, but for the United States national team as well. The two shared Golden Boot honors.

The Columbus Crew emerged as a dominant team in the second half of the regular season, running off an MLS-record 18-game unbeaten streak en route to the Supporters' Shield title, won after finishing level on points with Kansas City.

Contents

PlayoffsEdit

In the playoffs, the Crew were taken down by the New England Revolution, who ended the Crew's streak in the opening leg, and goalkeeper Matt Reis, who saved two penalty kicks in the second leg. United cruised past the rival MetroStars (and league MVP Amado Guevara) 4–0 on aggregate in the other Eastern Conference semifinal.

In the Western Conference, Kansas City rallied from a 2–0 first-leg deficit for a dramatic 3–0 win in stoppage time over the defending MLS Cup champion San Jose Earthquakes in their conference semifinal. The Los Angeles Galaxy used a 2–0 home victory in the second leg to overcome the Colorado Rapids and goalie Joe Cannon, who had led the Rapids to a 1–0 victory in the opener.

In the conference finals, Kansas City used two goals from unsung forward Davy Arnaud, who enjoyed a breakout season, to beat the Galaxy and return to the final for the first time since 2000. D.C. United and New England hooked up in the Eastern Conference final in one of the best games in MLS playoff history. Playing at home, D.C. United took three different leads, only to see New England recover each time to tie the match 3–3 in a game full of highlight-reel goals. The match was finally decided by the first conventional shootout in MLS history, with Nick Rimando saving the first 'sudden death' penalty from Rookie of the Year Clint Dempsey to send D.C. to the championship.

In the second consecutive final held at the Home Depot Center, D.C. rebounded from an early Jose Burciaga goal by scoring three goals in eight minutes, including two from Alecko Eskandarian to take a 3–1 lead. In the second half, Dema Kovalenko became the first player to be sent off in an MLS Cup final after knocking a shot off the goal line with his hand. Although Josh Wolff converted the penalty kick, D.C. United held on with only 10 men to win its fourth championship in the nine-year history of MLS.

Play-off BracketEdit

  Conference Semifinals Conference Finals MLS Cup 2004
                             


E1 Columbus 0 1  
E4 New England (wins 2–1 agg.) 1 1  
  E4 New England 3  
Eastern Conference
  E2 D.C. United (wins 4–3 on PK's) 3*  
E2 D.C. United (wins 4–0 agg.) 2 2
E3 MetroStars 0 0  
  E2 D.C. United 3
  W1 Kansas City 2
W1 Kansas City (wins 3–2 agg.) 0 3  
W4 San Jose 2 0  
  W1 Kansas City 2
Western Conference
  W2 Los Angeles 0  
W2 Los Angeles (wins 2–1 agg.) 0 2
W3 Colorado 1 0  

Final standingsEdit

Eastern ConferenceEdit

Eastern Conference GP W L D GF GA GD Pts
s – Columbus Crew 30 12 5 13 40 32 +8 49
x – D.C. United 30 11 10 9 43 42 +1 42
x – MetroStars 30 11 12 7 47 49 –2 40
x – New England Revolution 30 8 13 9 42 43 –1 33
Chicago Fire 30 8 13 9 36 44 –8 33

Western ConferenceEdit

Western Conference GP W L D GF GA GD Pts
x – Kansas City Wizards 30 14 9 7 38 30 +8 49
x – Los Angeles Galaxy 30 11 9 10 42 40 +2 43
x – Colorado Rapids 30 10 9 11 29 32 –3 41
x – San Jose Earthquakes 30 9 10 11 41 35 +6 38
Dallas Burn 30 10 14 6 34 45 –11 36

Overall

Pos Club GP W L D GF GA GD Pts
1 Columbus Crew 30 12 5 13 40 32 8 49
2 Kansas City Wizards 30 14 9 7 38 30 8 49
3 Los Angeles Galaxy 30 11 9 10 42 40 2 43
4 D.C. United 30 11 10 9 43 42 1 42
5 Colorado Rapids 30 10 9 11 29 32 –3 41
6 MetroStars 30 11 12 7 47 49 –2 40
7 San Jose Earthquakes 30 9 10 11 41 35 6 38
8 Dallas Burn 30 10 14 6 34 45 –11 36
9 New England Revolution 30 8 13 9 42 43 –1 33
10 Chicago Fire 30 8 13 9 36 44 –8 33
  • The top four teams in each conference make the playoffs.

s = Supporters Shield
x = playoff berth

MLS Cup PlayoffsEdit

Conference SemifinalsEdit

Columbus Crew0–1New England Revolution
Buddle   26'
Fraser   35'
Report Joseph   4'
John   25'
John   58'
Heaps   82'
Attendance: 5,679
Referee: N/A
New England Revolution1–1Columbus Crew
Twellman   81' Report Martino   26'
Hejduk   68'
Buddle   90+2'
Attendance: 15,224
Referee: Alex Prus

New England Revolution advance 2–1 on aggregate.


D.C. United2–0MetroStars
Kovalenko   50'
Nelsen   62'
Stewart   67'
Gros   75'
Eskandarian   88'
Report Walker   68'
Attendance: 11,161
Referee: Kevin Stott
MetroStars0–2D.C. United
Flores   6'
Guevara   18'
Clark   45+1'
Pope   88'
Report Olsen   27'
Namoff   35'
Kovalenko   41'
Nelsen   61'
Moreno   85'
Adu   86'
Namoff   89'
RFK Stadium
Washington, D.C.
Attendance: 15,763
Referee: Ricardo Valenzuela

D.C. United advance 4–0 on aggregate.


Kansas City Wizards0–2San Jose Earthquakes
Simutenkov   41'
Zotinca   59'
Report Agoos   24'
Mullan   38'
De Rosario   40'
Waibel   52'
San Jose Earthquakes0–3Kansas City Wizards
Donovan   43' Report Stephenson   26'
Jewsbury   45+1'
Ching   48' (o.g.)
Arnaud   56'
Gutierrez   78'
Jewsbury   90+2'
Attendance: 10,022
Referee: Terry Vaugn

Kansas City Wizards advance 3–2 on aggregate.


Los Angeles Galaxy0–1Colorado Rapids
Broome   66' Report Peguero   30'
Kotschau   40'
Mastroeni   76'
Attendance: 8,028
Referee: Terry Vaughn
Colorado Rapids0–2Los Angeles Galaxy
Beckerman   42'
Kotschau   52'
Report Ruiz   30'
Ruiz   42'
Marshall   45+3'
Kirovski   74'
Hartman   76'
Attendance: 20,026
Referee: Michael Kennedy

Los Angeles Galaxy advance 2–1 on aggregate.


Conference finalsEdit

Los Angeles Galaxy0–2Kansas City Wizards
Vagenas   26'
Broome   72'
Herzog   83'
Report Arnaud   24'   68'
Burciaga Jr.   41'
Zotinca   72'
Attendance: 11,931
Referee: Abiodun Okulaja

New England Revolution3–3 (AET)D.C. United
Joseph   1'
Twellman   17'
Ralston   44' (pen.)
John   55'
Pierce   62'
Noonan   85'
Report Eskandarian   11'
Moreno   21'
Eskandarian   49'
Namoff   58'
Gomez   67'
Olsen   87'
Penalties
Ralston  
Reis  
Twellman  
Heaps  
Joseph  
Dempsey  
3–4   Olsen
  Quaranta
  Adu
  Eskandarian
  Moreno
  Carroll
RFK Stadium
Washington, D.C.
Attendance: 21,201
Referee: Terry Vaughn

D.C. United advance 4–3 on penalties (3–3 after full time).


MLS Cup 2004Edit

Kansas City Wizards2–3D.C. United
Burciaga Jr.   6'
Gutierrez   33'
Wolff   58' (pen.)
Report Eskandarian   19'   23'
Zotinca   26' (o.g.)
Stewart   55'
Kovalenko   57'
Namoff   72'
Olsen   89'
Attendance: 25,797
Referee: Michael Kennedy

D.C. United wins the MLS Cup
Kansas City Wizards and D.C. United earn MLS berths to
CONCACAF Champions' Cup 2005.

Team AwardsEdit

Individual awardsEdit

Top Goal ScorersEdit

Goal-Scoring TotalsEdit

Club Overall
Record
Goals
For
Goals
For Avg.
Goals
Against
Goals
Against Avg.
MetroStars 11–12–7 47 1.57 (1st) 49 1.63 (10th)
D.C. United 11–10–9 43 1.43 (2nd) 42 1.40 (6th)
Los Angeles Galaxy 11–9–10 42 1.40 (3rd) 40 1.33 (5th)
New England Revolution 8–13–9 42 1.40 (4th) 43 1.43 (7th)
San Jose Earthquakes 9–10–11 41 1.37 (5th) 35 1.17 (4th)
Columbus Crew 12–5–13 40 1.33 (6th) 32 1.07 (2nd)
Kansas City Wizards 14–9–7 38 1.27 (7th) 30 1.00 (1st)
Chicago Fire 8–13–9 36 1.20 (8th) 44 1.47 (8th)
Dallas Burn 10–14–6 34 1.13 (9th) 45 1.50 (9th)
Colorado Rapids 10–9–11 29 0.97 (10th) 32 1.07 (2nd)
Overall Totals 392 2.61

Team Attendance TotalsEdit

Club Stadium Games Season Game Avg.
Chicago Fire Soldier Field 15 257,295 17,153
Colorado Rapids INVESCO Field 15 212,925 14,195
Columbus Crew Columbus Crew Stadium 15 253,079 16,872
MetroStars Giants Stadium 15 257,923 17,195
Kansas City Wizards Arrowhead Stadium 15 222,235 14,816
D.C. United Robert F. Kennedy Stadium 15 258,484 17,232
New England Revolution Gillette Stadium 15 183,385 12,226
Los Angeles Galaxy Home Depot Center 15 357,137 23,809
San Jose Earthquakes Spartan Stadium 15 195,015 13,001
Dallas Burn Cotton Bowl 15 136,319 9,088
MLS Totals 150 2,333,797 15,559

CoachesEdit

ReferencesEdit