Number 5: Chicago Fire vs. SJ Earthquakes on November 23rd, 2003

Top 5 in Cali: #5

With the Chicago Fire playing back-to-back weeks in California, we wanted to look back at the team’s most memorable moments in the Golden State.

We start today with what is perhaps the most painfully memorable game on the left coast in Fire history. Yes I’m talking the 2003 MLS Cup Final where the Fire took on the San Jose Earthquakes at The Home Depot Center in Carson, CA.

The Quakes got out to an early lead through Ronnie Ekelund’s free kick in the fifth minute before Landon Donovan upped the lead to 2-0 in the 38th minute.

DaMarcus Beasley pulled the score back to 2-1 just in the 49th minute off a nice feed from Andy Williams, but San Jose immediately responded as Richard Mulrooney restored a two-goal advantage a minute later.

The Fire received a bit of a reprieve in the 54th minute as Quakes defender Chris Roner headed a cross on the right from current Fire Color Analyst Evan Whitfield into his own net making things 3-2.

It looked as though the Fire would equalize when Roner was whistled for a penalty just a minute later. The club’s all-time leading scorer Ante Razov, who had been fighting flu symptoms during the week stepped up to the spot but saw his effort saved by Quakes keeper Pat Onstad.

Spurred by the save Landon Donovan put the match away in the 71st minute through a great low cross from Dwayne DeRosario which the U.S. international first touched past Fire keeper Zach Thornton, giving the Earthquakes their second MLS Cup title in three years.

…Remember we went for most MEMORABLE… Promise this is the only game in this series in which the Fire lose…

Check back tomorrow for #4 in California!