There's nothing about a lackluster season that a four-game winning streak won't cure, or at least alleviate. About a month ago, the Galaxy went on a four-game
blitz that lifted it into the playoff picture, and now the same can be said for FC Dallas. Jeff Cunningham
, destroyer of Kansas City and the tenure of head coach Curt
with a four-goal outburst in a 6-0 rout last weekend, got just one against Texas rival Houston Thursday, but it was enough to down the two-time champ, 1-0.
Cunningham threatened the Dynamo goal in the opening seconds, failed to beat keeper Pat Onstad
from the penalty spot, then fired over the crossbar before juking past Geoff
to score from the edge of the box - all in the first 20 minutes.
Houston labored to find its attacking rhythm. Brian Ching
, looking fatigued, left
at halftime, and after being substituted, midfielder Brad Davis
came off the bench to bark at Dallas' Dave van den Bergh
and referee Baldomero
, at the behest of fourth official Jasen Anno
, sent him off.
Still outside the playoff octet, FCD (6-9-5) is at least making its season interesting,
especially in light of it finally selling Kenny Cooper
to an overseas club. Since FCD consummated that deal with German club 1860 Munich, Cunningham has scored five goals and FCD
posted its first back-to-back shutouts of 2009.
"I think we really started off well," said Dallas coach Schellas Hyndman
. "The first ball the defense made a
mistake on, Jeff had a chance to put us ahead in the first 20 seconds. It just seemed like that pressure continued to come. Jeff did a really good job getting isolated on one-on-ones. It was
really unfortunate that he didn't get a goal earlier."
The victory came at a price. Pablo Ricchetti
picked up a booking, his fifth of the season. He will miss next
week's game at Columbus, and so may center back Kyle Davies
, who left the game with a groin injury.
Houston (10-6-5) faces a quick turnaround, which is perhaps why
Kinnear replaced Ching and Davis. It hosts Chicago (8-3-8) Sunday night. Aug. 6 in Frisco, Texas FC Dallas 1, Houston 0.
Cunningham 20. FC Dallas --
Sala, Moor, Davies (Torres 59), Ricchetti, Benitez, Harris, Ferreira, McCarty, van den Bergh, Shea (Rocha 66), Cunningham (Wagner 78).
-- Onstad, Hainault, Boswell, Cameron, Chabala (Cruz 72), Ashe, Clark, Holden, Davis (James 65), Ching (Kamara 46), Oduro. Red card:
Baldomero Toledo. Att.: