A late goal lifted United to a 1-0 victory over the current leader of the Western Conference, FC Dallas, Saturday night in front of 19,601 fans at Audi Filed.
Russell Canouse buried his first career MLS goal in the 86 minute while goalkeeper Bill Hamid made five saves on his way to his third shutout of the season.
Wayne Rooney and the Black-and-Red got off to a quick start against FC Dallas. Rooney collected a pass for a one-on-one opportunity but fired his shot just wide of the left post in the second minute of the match.
Shortly after his first opportunity of the match, Rooney conjured up another one in the 11th minute of the contest. Rooney received a pass from Zoltán Stieber at the 18-yard mark but his chance off the half-volley sailed over the bar and into the top netting.
United created another goal scoring opportunity in the 22nd minute after Chris Durkin’s defensive prowess caused a turnover and allowed him to play the a ball inside to Luciano Acosta, who used a backheel pass to connect with Rooney. Rooney placed his effort just over the bar to keep the game knotted at 0-0.
The first 45 finished scoreless due to a big performance from Hamid, he collected four first half saves.
In the second half, United received a free kick opportunity around the 30-yard line in the 61st minute. Rooney’s offensive abilities were on full display as he smashed a curling effort on net, but Dallas goalkeeper Jesse Gonzalez was able to tip the on-target shot wide.
In the 72nd minute, FC Dallas’ counter attack mustered a three-on-three break. Hamid and the back line answered the call as they slowed down the fast paced break. Michael Barrios unleashed a heavy shot but Hamid stood tall and deflected the shot over the crossbar.
With the game crying out for a late winner, Canouse answered the call in the 86thminute. Canouse pounced on a loose ball off a free kick into the box, but his first effort ricocheted off the crossbar. Steven Birnbaum was able to collect the rebound, though, and feathered the ball back into the path of Canouse who got just enough of the ball with his head to tip it past Gonzalez. The game-winning goal the first of his MLS career.
United went on the secure three substantial points that leap-frogged them over the Montreal Impact for sixth place in the Eastern Conference. Now United sit one point ahead (44) of Impact (43) with one game in hand.
The Black-and-Red will look to apply some more pressure on Montreal when they host reigning MLS Cup champions Toronto FC on Wednesday, Oct. 17 at 7:30 PM ET.