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Published on Sep 15, 2010
This was on October 10, 1996. DC United faced the Tampa Bay Mutiny in Game One of the MLS Eastern Conference finals at RFK Stadium in Washington DC. DC United won the match, 4-1, behind 3 goals from Raul Diaz Arce.
Diaz Arce's hat-trick was the very first in Major League Soccer playoff history. DC United would go on to win the series and the East crown after defeating Tampa in the return match, 2-1, and eventually went on to beat the Los Angeles Galaxy, 3-2 in overtime, at Foxboro Stadium in Boston at MLS Cup 96 to become the first MLS champions in league history.