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FC Dallas Claims Win Over Chicago

Published 6/15/2008 4:14:01 PM by staff from mlsnet
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Kenny Cooper scored in the 17th minute and FC Dallas made it stand up, winning for the first time since May 24 as they defeated the Chicago Fire 1-0 at Pizza Hut Park on Sunday afternoon.   FC Dallas snapped a two game winless streak with the victory, while the Fire dropped their second in a row and lost for the first time on the road in 2008.  Cooper's tally from outside the area was set up after Andre Rocha delivered a great through ball to the Dallas striker, who scored his seventh goal of the season. The Hoops are now 17-4-1 in games where Cooper finds the back of the net.

At kickoff, the mercury read 96 degrees. For much of the opening half, both sides played like they were feeling the effects of the Texas heat.  FCD interim head coach Marco Ferruzzi made several changes to the starting 11 after the Hoops lost 2-1 at New England last Friday. On the left of the back three, Blake Wagner was in for Adrian Serioux, who is away with the Canadian national team.   Arturo Alvarez, who had the Hoops' lone tally against the Revs last week, when he came on as a second half substitute, also returned to the lineup in the left side of the midfield, in place of Bobby Rhine.

Chicago head coach Denis Hamlett also had to make a number of changes to his starting group. In the back, CJ Brown and Brian Plotkin both made their 2008 debuts. They replaced Brandon Prideaux, who was suspended after being ejected in last weekend's 2-1 loss to DC United and Gonzalo Segares, who is away with the Costa Rican national team. In the Fire midfield, Stephen King got his second start of the year as Hamlett went with a five-man midfield, while Austin Washington was given his MLS debut. Chris Rolfe was injured in a midweek Lamar Hunt US Open Cup match and wasn't available, so Chad Barrett was the Men in Red's lone striker.  Cooper signaled his attentions early with a pair of shots that missed the mark. Then in the 17th minute, Rocha sent a terrific through ball that sent Cooper racing in alone at goal behind the Fire defense. With Chicago's Bakary Soumare in close proximity, Cooper held him off and swerved a shot into the right side of the net as Chicago goalkeeper Jon Busch came racing off his line. For Rocha, it was his team-leading sixth assist.

Cooper again went close in the 26th minute when he saw Busch off his line a bit and attempted to chip the ball into the far side of the net. Busch played it perfectly and made an easy save at the far post.  In the 32nd minute, Rocha made a bid for his first MLS goal. The Brazilian midfielder hit a scorching blast that took a wicked bend on its way to the goal, where it was stopped by Busch.  The visitors didn't have their first attempt at goal until the 37th minute, when Barrett had an attempt on goal deflected. Then just before the break, Chicago did have a nice chance at drawing level when Justin Mapp took a free kick from about 25 yards out. His booming ball found Barrett in the middle of the Dallas box, but his header sailed high.

Dominic Oduro broke free for a great chance in the 45th minute. The speedy FCD striker found some room on the left flank and drew Busch away from the net. However, the Ghanaian forward was unable to find the open net and his shot sailed high.  At the break, FCD had eight shots to the Fire's three. All but one of the Hoops' efforts came from their starting front line of Cooper, who had four, and Oduro, who had three shots.  In the 49th minute, Cooper made a nice move at the top of the Chicago penalty area to free himself. The FCD striker then attempted to beat Busch far post but the Fire 'keeper was up to the challenge in executing a great diving save to force a corner.

Hamlett went to his bench in the 59th, when he brought on Andy Herron for Washington. Dallas's first substitution came in the 64th when Dax McCarty entered the match for Marcelo Saragosa. McCarty's last action came on May 3 at San Jose, before undergoing surgery for a sports hernia on May 15.   The Fire surged in a bid to find an equalizer. In the 70th, Mapp nearly converted a poor attempt at clearance into a goal but his shot went wide right from about 25 yards out. Then in the 72nd minute, Cuauhtemoc Blanco sent a great free kick toward the far post which Soumare was able to get a head on. Yet even with Sala out of position, his header went wide left.

Over the final stretch, all the chances fell to Oduro, one player who didn't look too affected by the hot conditions. In the 79th, he made another blistering run up the left flank but his shot was saved by Busch. Another effort two minutes later was also stopped by the Fire 'keeper.   Oduro wriggled free once again in the 83rd but his shot was deflected. And in the 84th, he got on the receiving end of a corner from McCarty and sent a great header at the far post on which Busch made a great save.

With today's loss, Chicago has now not beaten FCD on their home field in 11 consecutive matches, dating back to 1999. The Hoops now have a five-match unbeaten streak against the Men in Red and have prevailed in eight of their last 11 matches against their Brimstone Cup rivals.  Chicago returns to the field on Thursday at The Home Depot Center against Chivas USA, while FCD returns to action on Saturday when they face the New York Red Bulls at Giants Stadium.

Label: FC Dallas, Kenny Cooper, Chicago Fire, Brimstone Cup
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