Match Recap: FC Dallas 3, Chicago Fire 0

Cunningham PK ties Moreno's mark, FCD roll past Fire


Photo Credit: 
Tom Pennington/Getty Images

FRISCO, Texas--- FC Dallas got a record-tying goal from Jeff Cunningham to cap off a 3-0 pounding of the Chicago Fire on Saturday night at Pizza Hut Park, clinching FCD's first postseason berth in three years.

PURCHASE: FC Dallas 2010 Playoffs Tickets

Milton Rodriguez scored in the 19th minute and Marvin Chavez
tallied in the 46th for FC Dallas (12-2-13), but the moment of the
night belonged to Cunningham. His penalty kick in the 67th minute gives
him 132 for his career, tying him with D.C. United’s Jaime Moreno for the most in MLS history.

The goal was Cunningham’s 11th of the season and fourth this year
from the penalty spot. He drew the penalty when he was taken down inside
the Chicago area by defender Dasan Robinson, and coolly converted just inside the left post and inches under a diving Sean Johnson.

FC Dallas had clinched a postseason spot before the match was even
through on Saturday, thanks to Kansas City’s 1-0 loss to New York at Red
Bull Arena. But FCD emphatically won this one anyway, extending their
franchise-record unbeaten streak to 18 matches and tying the all-time
mark within a single season, set by the Columbus Crew in 2004.

WATCH: FC Dallas post-game press conference

FCD was last in the postseason in 2007 under former coach Steve
Morrow and boast just two remaining players from that season:
midfielder Dax McCarty and goalkeeper Dario Sala. Assistant Marco Ferruzzi is also still on the coaching staff.

Rodriguez’s goal happened thanks to a fortuitous bounce off a free
kick from Sala. His booming effort bounced in the final third of the
field, landing at the feet of Rodriguez, who gained possession near the
top of the Fire box and beat Chicago defender Kwame Watson-Siriboe to the ball.

Rodriguez then quickly finished, putting one into the upper middle of
the net to give FCD the early lead and Sala his second career assist.

WATCH: Schellas Hyndman post-game locker room speech

Chavez’s goal came in the first minute of the second half. David Ferreira sent a great ball to Chavez on the left flank, who hit a shot that deflected off Fire defender Steven Kinney
and past Johnson. Ferreira got his 13th assist on the goal, putting him
just two shy of tying Jason Kreis for the single-season franchise
record, set in 1999.

Though the postseason is still a possibility for the Fire (7-11-8),
it’s a slim chance they’ll avoid missing the playoffs for the first time
since 2004.

Chicago will face Columbus on Oct. 8 at Toyota Park, while FCD will
host Colorado on Oct. 9 in their 2010 regular-season home finale.

For full match statistics visit the MLS MatchCenter.

Scoring Summary:

DAL -- Milton Rodriguez 4 (Dario Sala 1) 19

DAL -- Marvin Chavez 2 (David Ferreira 13) 46

DAL -- Jeff Cunningham 11 (penalty kick) 67

Chicago Fire -- Sean Johnson, Steven Kinney, Dasan Robinson, Kwame Watson-Siriboe (Wilman Conde 59), Krzysztof Krol, Logan Pause, Bratislav Ristic, Patrick Nyarko (Brian McBride 66), Peter Lowry (Marco Pappa 54), Calen Carr, Freddie Ljungberg.

FC Dallas -- Dario Sala, Heath Pearce, Jackson Goncalves, Zach Loyd, Jair Benitez, Atiba Harris, Dax McCarty (Eric Avila 75), Eric Alexander, Marvin Chavez (Brek Shea 69), David Ferreira, Milton Rodriguez (Jeff Cunningham 57).

Misconduct Summary:

CHI -- Logan Pause (caution; Reckless Tackle) 28

DAL -- Marvin Chavez (caution; Reckless Tackle) 30

CHI -- Wilman Conde (caution; Reckless Foul) 84

Referee: Alex Prus

Referee's Assistants: James Conlee; Brian Poeschel

4th Official: Yader Reyes

Attendance: 10,615

Time of Game: 1:50

Weather: Clear-and-76-degrees