Happy Birthday, MLS!

Eric Wynalda was the first player to score a goal in MLS history and it was on April 6, 1996, at Spartan Stadium in California That day the San Jose Clash played with figures such as John Doyle and Wynalda himself facing DC United with the Bolivian player Marco Etcheverry.

That goal, in addition to being the first in history, was also chosen as the best goal of that year in a competition where in the event of a tie, the matches were defined with a series of somewhat curious penalties. It was the Shootout scheme copied from ice hockey in which the 5 most skilled players on a team had to beat the rival goalkeeper starting from 32 meters away and with a time of 5 seconds.

MLS today is a reality and Wynalda will always be responsible for it. That goal marked a milestone in the history of American soccer and a wonderful passage in his career.

Wynalda, the striker and member of the United States team in the 94 World Cup scored the winning goal in the 88th minute, thus avoiding that the clash had to be resolved with a shootout.

That goal had a lot of skill leaving a defender behind and then scoring with a cross shot.

It has been 24 years since the first game played in Major League Soccer. It was a Saturday, April 6, 1996.

That first meeting was attended by 31,000 spectators and the match ended 1-0 in favor of the locals, the San José Clash.

The MLS was created on December 17, 1993, in fulfillment of the promise of the United States Soccer Federation to FIFA to establish a “world class” professional soccer league in exchange for hosting the World Cup in 1994 in the US.

The league started its first season in 1996 with 10 teams and enjoyed promising attendance figures throughout the tournament, which was won by D.C. United over the L.A. Galaxy, to be the first champion of this new league.

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