2006 MLS Cup

MLS Cup 2006
Houston wins 4-3 on penalties
Date November 12, 2006 (2006-11-12)
Venue Pizza Hut Park
Frisco, Texas
Man of the Match Brian Ching
(Houston Dynamo)
Attendance 22,427
Weather Sunny, 61 °F (16 °C)

MLS Cup 2006, the 11th edition of Major League Soccer's championship match, was played between the New England Revolution and the Houston Dynamo to decide the champion of the 2006 season. The game was played at Pizza Hut Park in Frisco, Texas on November 12, 2006. Houston won 4-3 on penalty kicks, after a 1-1 draw following extra time. It was the first penalty shootout in MLS Cup history.

The Matchup

For the first time ever, the MLS Cup Final matched teams which did not win their respective conferences in the regular season. In every final since the inaugural season of 1996, at least one of the teams led its division after the regular-season campaign. On three occasions, the MLS Cup matched two conference regular-season winners (1999, D.C. United vs. Los Angeles Galaxy; 2000, Kansas City Wizards vs Chicago Fire; 2003, San Jose Earthquakes vs. Chicago Fire).

Houston and New England were separated by just two points during the regular season. The Revolution finished with 12 wins, 8 losses, and 12 draws for 48 points. Houston went 11-8-13 for 46 points. It was the narrowest margin between the finalists since 2003, when the Chicago Fire and San Jose Earthquakes were just two points apart in their regular season records. In addition to their similar point totals, the teams finished with identical goal differentials (+4) and both finished 8-3-5 at home.

The teams also split their two regular-season meetings, playing to a pair of 1-1 draws. On May 27 at Gillette Stadium, Steve Ralston put the Revolution ahead with a 55th-minute goal, but a Ryan Cochrane goal five minutes from the end gave the Dynamo the equalizer. On July 22 at Robertson Stadium, an own goal gave New England the lead in the 60th minute, but Stuart Holden pulled Houston level again just three minutes later.

MLS Cup Playoffs

This was the first time since 1996 that both MLS Cup finalists lost their opening game in the playoffs and recovered to claim a spot in the title game. That year, D.C. United lost in a shootout in the opening game of the playoffs before recovering to win the inaugural championship match; their opponents, the Los Angeles Galaxy, lost to the San Jose Earthquakes in their first postseason game.

In the first round of the 2006 playoffs, the biggest upset came in the Western Conference, where the Colorado Rapids upset top-seeded FC Dallas on the road for the second straight year, again winning in a shootout. In the other Western Conference semifinal, Houston trailed Chivas USA 2-0 in the first leg but recovered to lose 2-1, despite missing a penalty kick, and win 2-0 at home to advance.

In the Eastern Conference, D.C. United needed a late goal to escape with a 1-1 home draw in the second leg against New York Red Bulls, winning 2-1 on aggregate. New England rallied from a 2-0 aggregate deficit in the second leg to force penalty kicks against Chicago, winning the shootout to advance.

In the conference finals, New England used an early Taylor Twellman goal to knock off the MLS Supporters' Shield winners and qualify for its third title game in five years. Houston recovered from an early penalty kick behind two goals from Paul Dalglish for a 3-1 win over Colorado, reaching the championship in its first year in Houston.

  Conference Semifinals Conference Finals MLS Cup Final
  1  D.C. United 1 1 2  
4  New York Red Bulls 0 1 1  
  1  D.C. United     0  
Eastern Conference
  2  New England Revolution     1  
3  Chicago Fire (AET, PSO) 1 1 2(2)
  2  New England Revolution 0 2 2(4)  
    E  New England Revolution     1(3)
  W  Houston Dynamo (AET, PSO)     1(4)
  1  FC Dallas (AET, PSO) 2 2 4(4)  
4  Colorado Rapids 1 3 4(5)  
  4  Colorado Rapids     1
Western Conference
  2  Houston Dynamo     3  
3  Chivas USA 2 0 2
  2  Houston Dynamo 1 2 3  

Match details

Houston Dynamo 1–1 (AET)
(4 - 3 pen.)
New England Revolution
Davis Booked 23'
Cochrane Booked 99'
Waibel Booked 103'
Ching Goal 114'
(Report) Franchino Booked 16'
Twellman Goal 113'


Kelly Gray Penalty scored
Stuart Holden Penalty scored
Dwayne De Rosario Penalty scored
Brad Davis Penalty missed
Brian Ching Penalty scored


Penalty scored Shalrie Joseph
Penalty scored Matt Reis
Penalty missed Pat Noonan
Penalty scored Taylor Twellman
Penalty missed Jay Heaps

Houston Dynamo
New England Revolution
GK 18 Canada Pat Onstad
DF 16 United States Craig Waibel Booked 103'
DF 5 United States Ryan Cochrane Booked 99' Substituted off 102'
DF 2 United States Eddie Robinson
DF 24 United States Wade Barrett (c)
MF 9 United States Brian Mullan
MF 14 Canada Dwayne De Rosario
MF 51 Canada Adrian Serioux Substituted off 114'
MF 11 United States Brad Davis Booked 23'
FW 25 United States Brian Ching
FW 8 Scotland Paul Dalglish Substituted off 81'
GK 1 United States Zach Wells
DF 4 United States Chris Aloisi
DF 3 United States Kevin Goldthwaite
DF 6 United States Kelly Gray Substituted in 102'
MF 22 United States Stuart Holden Substituted in 114'
MF 7 United States Chris Wondolowski
FW 15 Venezuela Alejandro Moreno Substituted in 81'
Scotland Dominic Kinnear

Man of the Match: United States Brian Ching

Assistant referees:
Craig Lowry
Nate Clement
Fourth official:
Kevin Stott

GK 1 United States Matt Reis
DF 6 United States Jay Heaps
DF 4 Trinidad and Tobago Avery John
DF 15 United States Michael Parkhurst
MF 25 Wales Andy Dorman Substituted off 62'
MF 8 United States Joe Franchino (c) Booked 16' Substituted off 53'
MF 3 United States Daniel Hernández Substituted off 111'
MF 21 Grenada Shalrie Joseph
MF 14 United States Steve Ralston
FW 11 United States Pat Noonan
FW 20 United States Taylor Twellman
GK 12 United States Doug Warren
DF 16 United States James Riley
MF 31 United States Jeff Larentowicz Substituted in 111'
FW 30 Mexico José Manuel Abundis
FW 7 Uruguay José Cancela
FW 2 United States Clint Dempsey Substituted in 62'
FW 18 Bermuda Khano Smith Substituted in 53'
Scotland Steve Nicol

External links

  • MLS Cup 2006 Official Site
  • MLS Cup 2006 Bracket
  • Official Match Report: Dy-no-mite! Houston wins MLS Cup

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