Don’t look now, but goal season has just opened for Jeff Cunningham. And this time he has a bigger prey than just the Golden Boot. He’s gunning for D.C. United striker Jaime Moreno.
Two goals in FC Dallas’s win over Philadelphia on Sunday brought Cunningham’s career goal total at 127, five behind Moreno, MLS’ all-time leading goal-scorer.
Cunningham’s chase of Moreno has mostly slipped under the radar this season, partly because of the big-name signings casting long shadows, but also because Cunningham himself has been relatively off the mark this season.
After scoring four goals in the first six games of the season, Cunningham went on a 9-game slump. It got so bad, he was dropped from the starting XI.
But on Sunday against the 10-man Union, he showed vintage stuff. Speed, opportunism, and clinical finishing saw him put away two nicely crafted team goals: a slammed header from close distance and a deft flick over the keeper on a breakaway. Suddenly, with Moreno struggling to find the net—only one goal this year, and that in the 3rd game of the season—the conversation must turn to the all-time goal-scoring record.
We are now entering the time of the year when Cunningham comes alive. Last season, he scored 13 goals after July 31st. If he even comes close to matching that, we’ll see a real shootout for the all-time record.
And since fate loves a good duel as much as anyone else, guess who FCD play this coming weekend?
Exactly. D.C. United.