MLS Cup '96, the first championship match in Major League Soccer history, was played between D.C. United and the Los Angeles Galaxy to decide the champion of the league's inaugural season. The match was played in very heavy rain from the proximity of Hurricane Lili, at Foxboro Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts on October 20, 1996. D.C. United defeated the Galaxy 3-2 in overtime, after trailing 2-0, with 17 minutes remaining. Eddie Pope scored his golden goal to win it.
D.C. United and the Los Angeles Galaxy earned a berth in the 1997 CONCACAF Champions' Cup.
Route to the championship
||Los Angeles Galaxy
||Game 1: L 2–3 Game 2: W 1–0 Game 3: W 2–1
||San Jose Clash
||Game 1: L 0–1 Game 2: W 2–0 Game 3: W 2–0
|Tampa Bay Mutiny
||Game 1: W 4–1 Game 2: W 2–1
||Kansas City Wiz
||Game 1: W 2–1 Game 2: W 2–1
- Note 1: Results listed in amount of games won.
Most Valuable Player:
Marco Etcheverry (D.C. United)
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