Happy 15th anniversary, MLS

Fifteen years ago today, the San Jose Clash and D.C. United played the first game in something called "Major League Soccer." Considering RSL's result in the CONCACAF Champions League last night and the overall progress over the years, it's safe to say the league has made some headway since then.

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49 Responses to Happy 15th anniversary, MLS

  1. Tony in Quakeland says:

    And a lovely goal it was, Waldo!

  2. Joe says:

    Who else wishes the MLS would have throw back jerseys for sale or throw back nights where original teams sported their old school kits?

  3. patrick says:

    they really should do an “original 8″ weekend where all the matchups are original teams vs each other in throwback kits. I’d love to see the Crew and KC go at it in the yellow and rainbow

  4. bryan says:

    hahahaha look at Phil!!! WOW!

  5. inkedAG says:

    I didn’t become a serious soccer fan until two years after, but I remember but I remember the buzz of USA 94 and the start of the league. Nice trip down memory lane.

  6. Will-SBI says:

    This is great stuff…!!! Several things:

    1) Is that Bob Ley at the intro? Love him. That voice is unmistakeable.

    2) The offsides ten seconds in was rather funny.

    3) SOOOOO glad MLS got rid of the countdown clock, lol.

    4) Sweet goal by Wynalda.

    5) This was very moving.

  7. Cabrito says:

    There were some lean years that followed, but great to see the league on firm footing now.

  8. john says:

    More fans than Red bull arena?

  9. KevDC says:

    The league has come a long way in 15 years. It’s really quite a success story. Despite critics, the slow and steady incremental growth approach (in reaction to the fast over-expansion of the NASL years) is proving to be the right thing.

    Re: Throwback kits — It would be fun, but give it another five years. It seems a little early to be playing the MLS nostalgia card.

  10. Aaron in StL says:

    Only ’96 jerseys I could find on eBay were for the Galaxy ($299!)

  11. ChrisTheLSUTiger says:

    It seems fitting that Wynalda scored the first MLS goal against John Harkes’ team.

  12. fischy says:

    Agoos sure made it easy on him….

  13. werner says:

    I love the retro shirt idea!

    Man i remember being 10 years old, watching this game on TV. Then pissed that my dad went with my Uncle to the galaxy home opener and my cousins and i had to stay home.

  14. DomiNate says:

    Good for MLS, congrats on making it 15 years. However, this isn’t something that should be over publicized. In all honesty, it’s a little embarrassing. Other clubs have 50, 75, 100 year histories. After the failure of the NASL, this MLS milestone is more of a relief than anything else.

  15. GSScasual says:

    Dude, shut up already… RBNY was in the top of Attendance in MLS. its so obvious how jealous everyone is.

  16. Cabrito says:

    Yes, except the NASL was treading water after about 8 or 9 years, and MLS is still on the upswing. The first 20 or 30 years of NBA and NFL were very unstable.

  17. brandon says:

    For the San Jose sake, i’m glad “the clash” didn’t stick as a name.

  18. stpauljosh says:

    15 years ago today (April 6, my birthday coincidentally) I was in the navy on an aircraft carrier and made my entire office (one tv) watch this match. i couldn’t have been more excited. everyone joked that i’d be discharged just in time for the league to fold. ha, not so much! in fact, i got out just in time to head up to DC and see DCU take it to the Metrostars.

    it is a treat these days to be able to find so much info via the nets on MLS. Those first years I needed to walk to the local bookstore in order to read what little USA Today and teams local papers had printed.

    Happy B-day MLS and happy b-day to me!

    ===dominate: really, 15 years isn’t a milestone? miami and tampa may disagree. how many teams have their own stadium? RSL just did what? come on bro. :-)

  19. Hopper says:

    I remember watching this game on TV and being so happy Wynalda scored the winning goal for home side.

    I miss the crazy styles of those old MLS kits. Back then you had Nike, adidas, Kappa and Puma making them. Say what you will about the wild colors and dumb team names like the Clash, Burn and Wiz, but at least there was some flavor on the field. Now things are a bit stale with only adidas outfitting all the teams.

  20. DomiNate says:

    I’m not trying to say MLS hasn’t made strides. I want to see the league succeed.

    Here’s my point. I care about the success of the league, but if anyone who isn’t an MLS fan caught wind of this they could have a field day with it.

    RSL realistically have done nothing. Winning the CCL would be something. Even that wouldn’t compare to the multiple titles of teams like Chivas, America, etc.

    Happy birthday dude

  21. Tony in Quakeland says:

    Considering that harkes scored against his….well, nevermind

  22. Timmy says:

    I’m relatively new to MLS, what’s the deal with the old countdown clock? No stoppage time at all?

  23. Ian says:

    Good perspective. We tend to forget about the AFL, ABA, and (dare I mention) XFL.

  24. Mark says:

    Wow, I didn’t know Spartan Stadium could even hold 32,000 people. That’s nuts!

  25. Juan from L.A. says:

    Thanks SBI for memory lane and thank you MLS cause honestly this forum and many of us wouldn’t be here spending our time commenting.

    1. Countdown clock…priceless! Thank God they got rid of it with the shutouts!!!

    2. Throwback jerseys is not time to bring them back. Let the league continue to mature and definitely for the 25th anniversary or milestone it should be brought back for memory’s sake

    3. After the inagural game and season the 2-5th season were shaky times but wow did MLS learn and applied those lessons to make it now a respectable league in the world.

    4. A DC United vrs today DC United and/or San Jose Clash vrs San Jose Earthquakes of today would be awesome games that I strongly believe the teams today would win but not by the big margins some think

  26. Second Gunman on the Grassy Knoll says:

    I don’t understand the logic of your comment. What’s so embarrassing about it? I’m not relieved at all. I’m proud of the achievements and how far our league and nation have come. Is it ideal compared to other nations with rich history? No, not even close. But we can’t go around shaming generations before us for not adopting the sport earlier. I mean I guess we can, but I don’t see the point in that. Our culture just wasn’t ready for soccer/football, but in 15 years we’ve managed to create something beautiful that I’m sure we hope will last as long as humanly possible. And to compare this milestone to the NASL’s history is kind of unfair.

  27. offcolorcommentary says:

    I think Harkes got his revenge against Wynalda after this game….

  28. Mike says:

    I didn’t remember watching this game live until that goal!

  29. vik says:

    i feel old.

    happy birthday MLS, you’ve come a long way.

  30. irishapple21 says:

    Red Bulls fans prefer to completely forget the first fourteen years of Major League Soccer ever happened. *shudder*

  31. gene says:

    Winalda can be an annyoing loudmouth, but that was a sweet goal.

  32. Gene says:

    I went to a few Quake games in 2000 and 2001. I cannot imagine what kind of traffic nightmare they had with 32K spectators in 95 during the inagural game.

    By the way, if RSL can win the CCL, would they get invited to Copa Sudamericana?

  33. solles says:

    Simple: just buy a bunch of doritos bags and outfit the teams in those.

  34. solles says:

    Those shits are like 80’s music: I hated it in the 80’s and I still hate it now. Those are some of the ugliest uniforms ever worn by sports teams.

  35. solles says:

    hells no.. you must not have been an MLS fan in 2000-2002 or so when it looked like the league was going to go under.

    15 years is DEFINITELY worth celebrating.

  36. solles says:

    have a field day with it? why? why would they care?

  37. solles says:

    my god what is going ON here… people LIKE those shirts now???

  38. solles says:

    countdown clock existed for the first 4 (5?) years of the league because it was thought casual/curious American sports fans wouldn’t understand what was going on otherwise. There was also no extra time, and no draws. One of the first things Don Garber did when he took over was to acknowledge no one liked those things and changed them.

  39. solles says:

    ’96 DC United would CRUSH 2011 DC United.

  40. Shane says:

    Yeah MLS has made slow and steady progress, but ESPN hasnt done S#%T. Still only show soccer if it’s a big game or the WC. Cowards. MLS would be 50% more popular if they gave it the coverage they give pre-season baseball games.

  41. DomiNate says:

    Here’s my logic-

    You are older than the league. I am older than the league. The youngest MLS player signed to professional contract is older than the league.

    Your history is a little off. There can be a lot of parallels drawn between NASL and MLS.

    25 years will be a milestone.

  42. DomiNate says:

    Recently there was an article on a different English/American blog trying to convince Ex-pats to watch MLS. You wouldn’t believe the things people say to discredit the league.

    All I’m saying is publicizing “15 years” doesn’t help the case for MLS.

  43. EastBayGrease says:

    I was at that game. It was pretty horrific other than Wynalda’s goal. I remember my club soccer team and I opening Eurosport magazine and looking in disbelief at the ugliness of the newly released MLS jerseys. It’s funny to think back to the years when the big question about the league was “Will it survive?”.

  44. Charles says:

    :( yes but it was an original 10 #bitter mutiny fan

  45. Charles says:

    Check out the clock counting down to zero, how times have changed. Man I wish the USMNT would rock those denim ’94 kits on throwback.

  46. Alex says:

    They go to the club world club if they win CCL.

  47. Alex says:


  48. Nick says:

    Wow… Sepp Blatter was old back then @2:11. Hahaha, j/k.

  49. PCFC says:

    Would the Red Bulls ever allow the Metrostars jersey to be worn? With so many bitter nostalgic fans, I don’t know what Red Bull would do.