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Watch: The Fire’s First Ever MLS Game

The legendary 1998 squad gets their campaign off in style

<extremely movie trailer announcer voice>

Every legend has a beginning.

<coughs, hacks, wheezes>

Oooookay, not doing that again for a while.

Anyway, the Chicago Fire posted a video of the club’s first ever MLS game, played 20 years ago tonight.

The Men In Red began life in Major League Soccer on the road against the Miami Fusion. They were up against stiff competition— not least because Miami was led by the inimitable Carlos Valderrama— but, as will become clear, the Fire were more than up for the challenge.

After repelling Miami’s advances through much of the game— the Fire used to be able to defend! can you imagine?!— the big moment came when the home side were awarded a penalty. Valderrama, easily one of the best spot kick takers in the league, stepped up to put the Fusion on the board but was denied by CF97 Legend Zach Thornton.

The Fire soon punished Miami for failing to capitalize. First, Roman Kosecki put Chicago ahead 1-0 from a corner kick. (Scoring from set pieces? Wow. Truly a different era.) Soon after, Ritchie Kotschau pounced on a defensive error to double the lead.

That ended up being enough for the Fire, who secured a 2-0 win in their first ever competitive game.

Good stuff.