Houston Dynamo moved back atop the Western Conference after defeating their newest arch-rival in an old-time Wild West shootout to highlight Week 6 of play in Major League Soccer.
Dwayne De Rosario scored a pair of goals as Dynamo held on to defeat in-state rival FC Dallas 4-3 at home, getting a leg up in their four-game series with an 18th-century Mountain Howitzer cannon on offer for the victor. The winner of the Lone Star State bragging rights will also get possession of the cannon, its name to be decided in a fan poll.
Also on Saturday, D.C. United saw their unbeaten run to start the season come to an end, letting a second-half lead slip in a 2-1 loss to the Colorado Rapids in Denver. The New England Revolution put an end to their goalscoring drought in resounding fashion, hammering the Los Angeles Galaxy 4-0 at home in the second rematch this year of MLS Cup 2005.
The Kansas City Wizards maintained their lead atop the Eastern Conference, despite being held to a 1-1 draw with the Chicago Fire on Saturday evening, and a late goal gave the Columbus Crew a 1-0 victory away to Real Salt Lake, extending the home side's MLS-record winless run.
At Robertson Stadium, Dynamo were ahead by three goals by halftime before being forced to grimly hang on over the final minutes of the first meeting in their nascent Texas rivalry.
Ricardo Clark opened the Houston account in the 31st minute. A long throw-in into the FC Dallas penalty area was cleared, but eventually fell to Clark, and turned and let fly from all of 30 yards, the shot taking a deflection on its way past FCD 'keeper Dario Sala.
Brian Ching doubled the lead four minutes later, heading home his league-leading seventh goal of the year from a Brad Davis free kick swung in from the right flank. De Rosario then made it 3-0 in first-half stoppage time, running onto a ball looped over the Hoops back four before lashing an angled shot past Sala inside the far post from the left side of the area.
But FC Dallas pulled back to within one by the hour mark, scoring twice in barely a minute. Carlos Ruiz hit for his first goal of the season in the 60th minute, banging home the rebound after Dynamo 'keeper Pat Onstad saved from Roberto Mina at close range. Then Mina twisted past Adrian Serioux on the right flank before driving a low ball across the top of the area, where Ramon Nunez coolly finished.
Yet De Rosario restored the two-goal margin just six minutes later, running down a long ball from Davis, spinning around Sala as the FCD 'keeper got a hand to the ball, then curling it home on the turn inside the far post.
Hoops defender Drew Moor scored his first professional goal 14 minutes from time, getting a head to a free kick whipped in from the right in the midst of a packed penalty area, but FCD just couldn't find the equalizer.
At Gillette Stadium, the Revolution had scored just two goals in their four matches on the season, but exploded in their second victory against the Galaxy on the young season.
Taylor Twellman gave the Revolution a dream start. Jose Cancela was slipped through the Galaxy defense, and while Galaxy 'keeper Kevin Hartman came off his line quickly to snuff Cancela's attempted pass, Twellman followed up to sweep home the resulting rebound.
Cancela then set up a pair of goals within four minutes from restarts to put the game away. First he laid a free kick across the top of the area where Steve Ralston came in from the left and hammered a drive home through a massed goalmouth (39). Then he flighted in a curling cross from the right on a free kick, Shalrie Joseph rising up completely unmarked to head home from inside the goal area.
Joseph completed the rout in the 69th minute, converting from the penalty spot after Twellman was tripped by Galaxy fullback Chris Albright in the area.
In Denver, United came into the match undefeated on the season, while the Rapids had gotten off to an indifferent beginning.
The match was opened up after a tame first half just after the restart, United scoring from a neat passing movement which Christian Gomez finished off by sliding in to redirect a centering pass from Josh Gros, wrong-footing Joe Cannon in the Rapids goal.
But just five minutes later Colorado drew level, Jovan Kirovski converting from the penalty spot after he was brought down by Facundo Erpen deep in the area while trying to chase down a through ball. Then six minutes from time the home side secured the victory. Terry Cooke steamed out of midfield and sent in a majestic early cross that Nicolas Hernandez brought down, skipped around United 'keeper Troy Perkins and fired home from a tight angle for his first MLS goal.
At Arrowhead Stadium, the Wizards came back to claim a draw in the meeting of the Midwestern rivals - where both sides missed penalty kicks.
Chad Barrett put the Fire ahead after 18 minutes on a goal the Wizards felt had a hint of offside, racing in behind the Kansas City back four to latch onto a through ball from Chris Rolfe before knocking it home after going in alone on Bo Oshoniyi.
The Wizards missed a glorious chance to pull level in the first half, but Eddie Johnson saw his penalty saved by the Fire's Zach Thornton after Davy Arnaud was tripped up in the Chicago penalty area.
But Johnson made amends just after the start of the second half, swooping in to score on the rebound after Thornton was unable to hold an Arnaud shot following a nice one-two in the box.
Yet the Fire themselves wasted a terrific opportunity, when Justin Mapp was hauled down from behind in the box by Jack Jewsbury. But Oshoniyi saved Ivan Guerrero's try from the spot.
At Rice-Eccles Stadium, the bottom teams in each conference met, and for the opening three-quarters of the encounter, seemed unlikely to settle their differences.
But 20 minutes from time, newly-acquired Ezra Hendrickson received a long ball on the right, turned his defender and dropped in a pass for Jason Garey to run onto. The rookie hit a looping shot from just inside the area that cleanly beat Scott Garlick inside the near post for the clincher, the first professional goal for the 2005 M.A.C. Hermann Trophy winner.
The Crew were forced to play the final five minutes a man short after midfielder Jose Retiz was sent off, but Real could not find an equalizer as their winless streak reached 18 games dating back to last August.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Soccer or its clubs.