PURCHASE: FC Dallas 2010 Playoffs Tickets
Milton Rodriguez scored in the 19th minute and 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.
FCD was last in the postseason in 2007 under former coach Steve Morrow and boast just two remaining players from that season: midfielder and goalkeeper . 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.
Chavez’s goal came in the first minute of the second half. 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.
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, , Jackson Goncalves, , , , Dax McCarty ( 75), , Marvin Chavez ( 69), David Ferreira, Milton Rodriguez (Jeff Cunningham 57).
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
Time of Game: 1:50