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LIVESTREAM: Quakes vs. Fire | 2003 MLS Cup

If you’ve ever wondered how and why Major League Soccer survived its difficult early years to reach its current era of hale health and steady growth – about the old world today’s new MLS was built atop – MLS Cup 2003 is a pretty good place to start.

Still the highest-scoring MLS Cup in league history, the run-and-gun clash between the Chicago Fire and San Jose Earthquakes was a prime example of the best of so-called MLS 1.0, an oft-maligned formative period that was more fun than it gets credit for these days. Two confident, experienced sides faced off in dueling 4-4-2s and basically let rip, trading haymakers with a refreshing dearth of caginess or caution, as evinced by Ronnie Ekelund’s opener just five minutes in.