Cunningham could start for FCD in MLS Cup
NEW YORK – FC Dallas striker Jeff Cunningham is no stranger to BMO Field. From 2007 to 2008, he compiled 32 games and six goals with Toronto FC. Next Sunday at MLS Cup, it seems that he’ll be getting another run out at the Reds’ usual home.
“He could very well end up starting for FC Dallas on Sunday,” FCD head coach Schellas Hyndman said during a Monday afternoon teleconference call. “I would consider him very much a part of this team and very likely to be in that lineup.”
Cunningham is the second all-time leading regular-season goal-scorer in MLS history with 132, but Hyndman has mostly used his striker off the bench this season.
An injury to usual starter Milton Rodriguez in the first game of the team’s Western Conference semifinal series against Real Salt Lake pushed Cunningham into the starters’ role for the second leg. For the Western Conference Championship match against the LA Galaxy – which FCD won 3-0 – Hyndman elected to push usual right midfielder Atiba Harris into the starting striker position instead of going with Cunningham.
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“You know, there was a very, very long discussion that the coaching staff had about playing Jeff Cunningham, and starting him in [the game against LA] or not starting him,” Hyndman said. “And we chose to go with Atiba Harris. … I thought Atiba was extremely good [Sunday].”
Cunningham tallied 11 goals during the regular season, and added one in the playoffs against RSL at Pizza Hut Park.
“He’s a team’s leading goal-scorer,” Hyndman said of Cunningham. “And, you know, sometimes he can be very, very good at any moment. We just have to catch him on that right moment.”
That right moment could be against the Colorado Rapids on Sunday. (8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN, Galavision)
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