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FC Dallas beats LA Galaxy 2-1

Published 4/13/2007 8:26:23 AM by staff from mlsnet.com
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Carlos Ruiz and Kenny Cooper scored first-half goals as FC Dallas powered their way past the Los Angeles Galaxy for a 2-1 win night Thursday at The Home Depot Center.  The win was historic for FC Dallas. It was the first time in 10 attempts that the Hoops left The Home Depot Center without losing - to the Galaxy anyway. The Hoops were 0-9 all-time against the Galaxy at HDC; they had defeated Chivas USA twice in the Carson stadium.

A year ago, FC Dallas closed out what was otherwise a memorable regular season with a 5-2 shellacking against the Galaxy at this same venue. On Thursday, however, the Hoops capitalized on their chances early and bested the Galaxy with a strong 90-minute effort. Robbie Findley scored in the 86th minute but the Galaxy could not equalize the match.

Kenny Cooper unloaded FCD's first shot on goal just two minutes in. Cooper unleashed a shot from just outside the penalty area that seemed to handcuff Galaxy goalkeeper Joe Cannon. The former Rapids stalwart dived to his left with the ball swerving to his right but stopped the ball regardless. Carlos Ruiz could not get to the rebound and it was cleared out of danger.

Shaka Hislop kept the Galaxy from opening the score in the 14th minute. Galaxy midfielder Chris Albright floated into the penalty area, found some space and pounced on a cross from Cobi Jones. Albright tried to slip the ball past Hislop from the right side of the goal area but Hislop dived and made the save.

Hislop again made an acrobatic move in the 23rd minute, as he dived to clear a header attempt by Albright off a corner kick. The ball bounced back out to the top of the penalty area and Kyle Martino nearly poked it back in but his 20-yard attempt sailed just wide of the right post.

FC Dallas suffered what could potentially be a huge loss in the 25th minute. On a seemingly harmless play near the right touchline, midfielder Marcelo Saragosa fought for a loose ball with Albright. Saragosa instead crumpled to the turf and rolled around the ground in apparent anguish, with what was later diagnosed as an MCL injury in his right knee. FC Dallas coach Steve Morrow immediately motioned for Aaron Pitchkolan to warm up and the third-year player went into the match in the 29th minute.  In the 31st minute, Clarence Goodson was booked after flattening Galaxy forward Landon Donovan near the center of the field. Donovan was ready to sprint into FC Dallas territory before Goodson knocked him down.

FC Dallas was awarded a penalty kick in the 34th minute when rookie defender Ty Harden was whistled for a handball inside the penalty area. Juan Toja ripped a shot from just outside the penalty area that nailed Harden in the arm. Former Galaxy star Ruiz slipped the spot kick to the Cannon's right. Cannon guessed correctly but could not stop the ball from rolling into the back of the net.  The spot kick was a bit of a rarity for FC Dallas. The last time FC Dallas took a penalty kick during a match was in September 2005.

Los Angeles' Martino was booked in the 38th minute for knocking down Hoops midfielder Dax McCarty some 30 yards out. On the ensuing free kick, Ramon Nunez fired a hard, straight show right at goal that Cannon scooped into his arms.

Five minutes later, Nunez had a similar attempt but he correctly chose to cross the ball instead of knocking it on frame. Nunez sent a cross to the front of the goal and Cooper slammed it into the roof of the goal first-time. Cannon had no shot of stopping the ball, and the Hoops carried a two-goal lead into the halftime break.

The goal marked the sixth time overall and second in as many weeks that Cooper and Ruiz each scored a goal in the same match. For Ruiz, the goal was especially meaningful. The Guatemalan international led the league in goals with 24 in his first MLS campaign in 2002 as a member of the Galaxy. Ruiz was dealt to FC Dallas at the eve of the 2005 season in a deal that cleared the path for Donovan to join L.A.  Ruiz's goal was the first he's scored as a visitor at The Home Depot Center and third overall he bagged against the Galaxy. His previous two goals against the Galaxy were at Pizza Hut Park.

FC Dallas defender Alex Yi picked up a yellow card in the 48th minute when he leveled Donovan some 40 yards out. Donovan floated the free kick toward goal and Hislop dived to the air and parried the ball away. Hislop saved FC Dallas again in the 50th minute Galaxy forward Nate Jaqua knocked a header on frame that Hislop did well to push over the crossbar.  Donovan finally found himself with the ball and in space inside the penalty area in the 54th minute but pushed his 12-yard attempt wide of the right post. Perhaps with Sunday's match at the New York Red Bulls in mind, Morrow took out Cooper in the 73rd minute in favor of Dominic Oduro.  unez nearly scored in the 79th minute but his 27-yard shot narrowly missed the corner of the goal. Bobby Rhine stepped onto the field in the 82nd minute in favor of Nunez, who did well in patrolling the center of the field.

Galaxy rookie Robbie Findley nearly scored in the 84th minute but he knocked a shot wide of the net from just outside the six-yard box. Two minutes later, though, Findley found the back of the net when he knocked a header off a corner kick. The ball slipped past Hislop and ruined the Trinidadian's bid for a first MLS shutout.

Label: FC Dallas, LA Galaxy, MLS, Landon Donovan, CArlos Ruiz, Kenny Cooper
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