Before Saturday night, all three of Jeff Cunningham’s goals had come off penalty kicks.
The FC Dallas striker brought that streak to a close with a breakaway tally in the 68th minute, pushing FCD past visiting D.C. United 1-0 and giving the hosts their first win of the season at Pizza Hut Park.
His goal – his first from the run of play this season - came after a great buildup from teammates Heath Pearce and David Ferreira. Pearce started the sequence from the left flank, and spotted Ferreira in the middle of the park.
The Colombian midfielder then saw Cunningham dashing toward goal and fed him beautifully for an easy finish against United rookie goalkeeper Bill Hamid.
United didn’t go quietly, looking for their second win of 2010 after a brutal stretch of five consecutive losses to open the season. Their best chance came off the foot of Kurt Morsink, who blasted a shot off the crossbar in the 79th minute.
Clyde Simms also found the post after he hammered a shot from distance in 13th minute, but only after a wild sequence that saw FCD goalkeeper Kevin Hartmann make two brilliant saves to keep United off the board.
His save on a point-blank shot from Christian Castillo rebounded to the foot of Danny Allsopp, who failed to sneak a shot past the diving FCD veteran.
United fell to 0-3 on the road this season, while FC Dallas posted their second win in as many games this week, following a 1-0 win over the Houston Dynamo on Wednesday night.
To add injury to insult for United, defender Jordan Graye suffered a strained right hamstring in the 24th minute and had to be replaced by reserve Julius James.
DAL -- Jeff Cunningham 4 (David Ferreira 3, Heath Pearce 2) 68
DAL -- Daniel Hernandez (caution; Reckless Tackle) 39
DC -- Kurt Morsink (caution; Persistent Infringement) 43
DAL -- Ugo Ihemelu (caution; Reckless Tackle) 75
D.C. United -- Bill Hamid, Jordan Graye (Julius James 24), Carey Talley, Devon McTavish (Jaime Moreno 77), Rodney Wallace, Christian Castillo, Clyde Simms, Kurt Morsink, Thabiso Khumalo, Adam Cristman, Danny Allsopp (Luciano Emilio 64).
FC Dallas -- Kevin Hartman, George John, Ugo Ihemelu, Heath Pearce, Zach Loyd, Atiba Harris, Daniel Hernandez, Dax McCarty, Brek Shea (Eric Avila 60), Jeff Cunningham (Jason Yeisley 85), David Ferreira.
Referee: Mark Geiger
Referee's Assistants: Jeff Muschik; Brian Poeschel
4th Official: Landis Wiley
Time of Game: 1:51