SAN JOSE, Calif. – The San Jose Clash defeated D.C. United 1-0 at Spartan Stadium in the first match in Major League Soccer history. A sellout crowd of 31,683 fans were in attendance, breaking the record for a sporting event in San Jose.
Clash forward Eric Wynalda scored the lone goal in the 88th minute to give San Jose the victory. After receiving a pass down the left wing from Ben Iroha, Wynalda juked D.C. defender Jeff Agoos and sent his curling shot into the top-right corner of the net.
A strong defensive effort by the Clash, led by captain John Doyle, saw goalkeeper Tom Liner earn the first shutout in MLS history. Liner was asked to make just one save in the victory.
MLS Regular Season
San Jose Clash 1 – 0 D.C. United
April 6, 1996 – Spartan Stadium in San Jose, Calif.
Scoring Summary: SJ – Eric Wynalda (Ben Iroha) 88.
Misconduct Summary: DC – Raul Diaz Arce (caution) 5; SJ – Michael Emenalo (caution) 44; DC – Mario Gori (caution) 44; DC – John Harkes (caution) 72; DC – Said Fazlagic (caution) 87.
SAN JOSE CLASH: Tom Liner; Troy Dayak, John Doyle, Michael Emenalo, Tim Martin; Paul Bravo, Ben Iroha, Victor Melia, Jorge Rodas; Jeff Baicher, Eric Wynalda.
SHOTS: 12, SHOTS ON GOAL: 5; SAVES: 1; FOULS: 6; CORNER KICKS: 1, OFFSIDES: 4.
D.C. UNITED: Jeff Causey; Jeff Agoos, Said Fazlagic, Mario Gori, Thor Lee; Marco Etcheverry, John Harkes, Shawn Medved, Richie Williams; Raul Diaz Arce, Juan Suarez.
SHOTS: 5, SHOTS ON GOAL: 2; SAVES: 4; FOULS: 7; CORNER KICKS: 1, OFFSIDES: 1.
SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES FORWARD ERIC WYNALDA
On the goal:
“The truth is, I just tried to hit it hard with the inside of my foot and inside the far post. I missed it to a certain extent. I caught it a little underneath because the grass was a bit longer, but it ended up looking great.”
On the atmosphere at Spartan Stadium:
“The atmosphere was fantastic. I had experience of playing in a World Cup and had already seen an environment like that. But it had a big effect on some of my teammates, who were perhaps experiencing an atmosphere like that for the first time.”
SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES HEAD COACH LAURIE CALLOWAY
On Wynalda’s game-winning goal:
“Well, you know, Waldo [Wynalda] is Waldo, isn’t he? He gets sort of frustrated on a number of occasions. He was a little disturbed at halftime, which is not unusual, that he wasn’t getting enough of the ball. I told him he had to be patient and that things would come. He’s too good a player to hold down for 90 minutes. They started pushing forward a little bit, he got that couple of yards that he needs and what a goal. He bent it in past the keeper’s left hand. Eric Wynalda is Eric Wynalda. He’s won so many games like that for the teams he’s played for.”
MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER DEPUTY COMMISSIONER SUNIL GULATI
On the importance of Wynalda’s goal:
“Thank God for Eric Wynalda. I don’t think anyone in the world would have believed, if we had told them it was a 0-0 draw, that it was an exciting game and that it was a great weekend. What they would have written was that it was 0-0 on July 17, 1994 [in the World Cup final between Brazil and Italy at the Rose Bowl] and 0-0 again today and nothing has changed.”
MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER CHAIRMAN ALAN ROTHENBERG
On the match:
“I don’t think we could have written a script with a better ending. To end up with a dramatic goal by the leading goal-scorer in American soccer history before a home crowd--what else could you ask for? I wouldn’t have dared to write a script that had that kind of a corny ending. It’s a great start.”