FRISCO – Last second heroics from Kenny Cooper lifted FC Dallas over Houston in Sunday’s Texas Derby 3-2.
Houston successfully tied the game after being behind 2-0 for most of the game and it appeared as if the battle for El Capitan would end in a draw. However, in the 90th minute Cooper handled a ball from Michel in the box and scored the game-winner.
“It feels great to beat them,” said Cooper. “The teams worked hard this week and we spent a lot of time up here training and watching video. Schellas and the staff really prepared us well for this game, so it’s great to get a win and show off the hard work the guys are putting in.”
FC Dallas head coach Schellas Hyndman wanted to utilize Cooper’s size as an advantage over Houston’s Corey Ashe.
“We played Kenny up front with Blas [Perez] causing problems,” said Hyndman. “You saw a lot of diagonals balls that were coming across to Kenny. I felt that he and Blas were a constant threat.”
The game-winner was Cooper’s first goal since returning to FC Dallas after leaving the team in 2009 to play overseas. When he left he was regarded as one of the most promising young players in MLS. Cooper scored 40 goals in 90 appearances for FC Dallas from 2006-09.
“I think we all want to find the Kenny that left here,” said Hyndman. “That’s the Kenny we remember and that’s the Kenny that we worked awfully hard to get back. I think we are only going to see more and more out of Kenny.”
At halftime, Hyndman warned the team how dangerous a 2-0 lead could be and Cooper re-iterated his coach’s words after the match.
“Once a team gets a goal back they have momentum. I think they showed that getting those two goals, but we showed great character to keep fighting and fortunately we were able to pull it back. Hopefully we can push from here on and continue to improve. I can’t say I have the best memories playing against [Houston] so it’s great to go 2-1 now and to beat our rivals.”