New FC Dallas head coach Schellas Hyndman earned the first point of his MLS coaching career as his team came back to claim a 1-1 draw with the Houston Dynamo on MLS Primetime Thursday at Robertson Stadium.
Brian Ching's goal in the 21st minute gave the Dynamo the lead, but Kenny Cooper scored in the 62nd minute to give FC Dallas their second draw this season in Houston.
With the tie, the Hoops will claim "El Capitan," the 18th-century cannon that goes to the winner of the season series between the intrastate rivals. Though the series resulted in three draws, FC Dallas won by tiebreaker on the strength of a 4-2 advantage in goals scored away from home.
It was the first time that FC Dallas secured the trophy, with Houston taking the season series in both 2006 and 2007.
The result puts the Hoops in a tie for fourth place in the Western Conference with Chivas USA at 17 points, only two points behind Houston and Real Salt Lake, who are tied for second place.
FC Dallas struggled offensively in the first half. Midfielder Arturo Alvarez mustered the Hoops' only shot of the half, a slow roller that was easily scooped up by Houston goalkeeper Pat Onstad.
The Hoops' best chance of the first half came in the 15th minute, when forward Marcelo Saragosa received a prodigious throw-in from defender Adrian Serioux inside the box and looked to have an opportunity to launch a nasty shot from the left side. But Saragosa was stripped and the ball cleared before he could fire the shot.
The Hoops fell behind in the 21st minute when Ching headed a cross from the right side by Houston defender Craig Waibel into the back of the net. Ching found an open spot just a few yards in front of the net between FC Dallas midfielder Andre Rocha and defender Duilio Davino and sent the ball in from close range.
FC Dallas goalkeeper Dario Sala was tested early and often, keeping the Hoops in the game with diving saves of a Waibel header in the 10th minute and a Dwayne De Rosario bicycle kick in the 20th. Sala finished the evening with four saves.
After the break, FC Dallas turned up the pressure. The attack began in the 58th minute when midfielder Juan Toja sent a scorching volley towards the net, but unfortunately straight at Onstad.
Cooper evened the score in the 62nd minute. Midfielder Juan Toja sent a cross in from the left side, and Cooper ran on to the ball, leaping to meet it and flick it towards the back post for the goal. In the 90th minute, FC Dallas forward Dominic Oduro stole a pass from Houston's Ricardo Clark and sidestepped Dynamo defender Bobby Boswell to create a clear path between himself and the goal. Clark slid in from behind to disrupt Oduro's shot as he took it, sending the ball high and off target, but no foul was called. The teams played with an almost frantic energy in the last 20 minutes of the match, with neither side willing to settle for a tie with El Capitan at stake. But neither team could break through the other's defense.
FC Dallas will play host CD Guadalajara in an international friendly on June 29 and Miami FC in U.S. Open Cup action on July 1 before returning to MLS league play with a July 4 match against the Kansas City Wizards at Pizza Hut Park. The Houston Dynamo will face the Charleston Battery in a U.S. Open Cup on July 1 before traveling to Utah on Thurs., July 3 to play Real Salt Lake.
Lucas Ogden-Davis is a contributor to MLSnet.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Soccer or its clubs.