for this game

Cunningham's 2 goals lift FC Dallas past Red Bulls

Jul 5, 2009 - 5:22 AM By AMIT KALUSKAR STATS MLS Correspondent

FRISCO, Texas (STATS) - No Kenny Cooper, no problem.

Jeff Cunningham started in Cooper's place and scored two goals within a two-minute span of the first half, leading FC Dallas to a 2-1 win over the New York Red Bulls on Saturday night.

"I really wanted to give a good performance," Cunningham said. "I felt I had to prove myself even after 12 years in the league."

Cunningham, ranked fourth on the MLS career goals list with 107, had his first multi-goal game of the season. Cooper, who missed the game due to U.S. national team duty for the CONCACAF Gold Cup, had started 47 consecutive games at forward.

Cooper's seven goals this year were more than twice as many as the next-closest Dallas player.

"What Jeff brings that Kenny doesn't is that pure athleticism and pure speed," Dallas coach Schellas Hyndman said.

Cunningham's first goal came in the 15th minute after he stole a pass from Luke Sassano, dribbled past Nick Zimmerman and fired a left-footed shot into the left corner of the net from the top of the penalty area.

FC Dallas (4-7-5) extended its unbeaten streak to three games while pushing the Red Bulls' winless streak to 10. New York (2-13-4) last won May 8 when it beat San Jose 4-1, and it is 0-17-6 in its last 23 on the road.

"A lot of things have gone wrong (this season)," Red Bulls coach Juan Carlos Osorio said. "We just don't get any breaks, we've had a very poor season."

In the 17th minute, Cunningham took advantage of a great pass from midfielder Dave van den Bergh to chip in a shot from inside the goalie's box. Van den Bergh crossed a volley from 20 yards which Cunningham redirected into the net with the top of his left foot.

"We've been working on that all week, we knew there was a possibility to put into the left post," van den Bergh said.

Cunningham had a potential third goal disallowed in the 80th minute when he was called offside after knocking in a missed shot by Eric Avila.

"I was already celebrating," Cunningham said of his near hat trick. "I thought why isn't anybody else celebrating, then I realized they were all going the other way."

Cooper will miss at least one more game while with the national team.

"I heard earlier in my career that I played with a chip on my soldier and that was a bad thing," Cunningham said. "If you don't play with a chip on your soldier you'll get pushed back."

New York's Juan Pablo Angel scored from inside the goalie's box in the 43rd minute, his sixth goal of the season. Danleigh Borman and Jorge Rojas assisted.

"We thought that with that goal we were back in," Angel said. "Unfortunately we couldn't capitalize in the second half."

Angel also had a goal disallowed in the 49th minute when he was called offside on his run.

Dallas' Ray Burse made a leaping two-handed save to stop a shot by John Wolyniec in the 83rd minute.