for this game

FC Dallas 3, Fire 0

Jun 1, 2009 - 8:59 PM By NICOLINO DIBENEDETTO STATS Writer

CHICAGO (STATS) - The Chicago Fire appeared to be in prime position to match the longest MLS unbeaten streak to start a season.

The Fire couldn't make it happen, though, and their run ended in stunning fashion Sunday. Chicago allowed goals by Jeff Cunningham and Kenny Cooper while adding an own goal in a 3-0 loss to FC Dallas at Toyota Park.

The Fire (5-1-6) were on a franchise-record 11-game unbeaten streak and coming off a third consecutive road victory, having beaten league-best Chivas USA 3-2 on Thursday following last Sunday's 1-0 win at New York.

They were looking to match the league-record 12-game unbeaten streak set by Los Angeles in 1996 and matched by Kansas City in 2000. However, Chicago managed just two shots on goal against Dallas (2-6-3), which entered the contest with the fewest points in MLS.

"This wasn't a 'trap' game," Fire coach Denis Hamlett said. "There's no secret that we had a long week with three games in a week and a cross-country trip. Today, it caught up with us a little bit."

Dallas forward Jeff Cunningham's goal in the 15th minute was enough to halt the Fire's streak while giving Dallas a 1-0 lead. Cunningham jumped over a group of players to get his head on the end of a corner kick by Dave van den Bergh.

The goal was Cunningham's first of the season and 19th in 30 career games against the Fire - his highest total against any club.

"I've been around long enough to have a lot of history against most of the teams in the league," said Cunningham, who has 105 goals in 13-plus seasons to rank fourth all-time.

Dallas found the back of the net again 20 minutes later when Fire defender C.J. Brown had a cross from Dax McCarty skim off the top of his head and float into the top right corner.

Brown was starting his second game of the season after defender Wilman Conde suffered a shoulder injury against Chivas. Chicago was also without playmaker Cuauhtemoc Blanco, who was recalled to Mexico's national team for a pair of World Cup qualifiers.

With 10 minutes to play, Cooper capped off FCD's first win since April 19 by hitting a free kick from 25 yards that slammed off the crossbar and came down just over the goal line.

The free kick was awarded when Fire defender Bakary Soumare was issued a red card for knocking down Brek Shea on a breakaway.

Shortly after that, Dallas coach Schellas Hyndman was ejected for arguing with a fan. Hyndman made a "3-0" gesture with his hands to the crowd as he left the field.

"You live with (the fans) at home and on the road, and you don't listen to them," Hyndman said. "But when people start throwing things at you, and I had a bottle thrown at my head. I didn't get hit, but I was close to getting hit. The fourth official said to the other official that I had a conversation with the fans, and I guess that's something we're not supposed to do.

"The first thing I did was apologize to the officials when he came in. That was my mistake."

Chicago's best chance came in the 21st minute when defender Tim Ward hit a point-blank shot from the right side that Dallas goalkeeper Ray Burse tipped before it hit the post and ricocheted away.

  • MLS

    May 31 4:58 PM

    FC DALLAS GOAL: Kenny Cooper in the 80th minute

    FC Dallas 3, Fire 0  2nd - 80'May 31 4:50 PM

  • MLS

    May 31 3:56 PM

    FC DALLAS OWN GOAL: C.J. Brown in the 35th minute

    FC Dallas 2, Fire 0  1st - 35'May 31 3:48 PM

    FC DALLAS GOAL: Jeff Cunningham in the 15th minute

    FC Dallas 1, Fire 0  1st - 15'May 31 3:29 PM