KANSAS CITY, Mo. – With four goals in his last three matches and six this season, Dom Dwyer is on an early roll – and Sporting Kansas City's young center forward insists he's just warming up.
“I'm only hitting second gear right now,” Dwyer told MLSsoccer.com on Monday, two days after his brace in a 3-0 away rout of Montreal. “I've got a long way to go, and I'm still not in top form. There's definitely a lot more to come.”
More could come as early as Wednesday, when Sporting host the struggling Philadelphia Union (8:30 pm ET; MLS Live). And if Dwyer adds to his goal-scoring total in that match, he said it will be less a cause for celebration than a feeling of doing what's expected of him.
“It feels like my job,” he said. “Before, it would be like, I scored and I'd get really excited. Now … I score and it's like, 'OK, good.’ It's business now. Let's just go win the game. Let's take care of the game. It's starting to feel normal, not something that surprises me.”
Dwyer has already shown what he can do over a stretch of matches when he gets hot.
He scored 15 times in just 13 games last season while on loan to USL PRO affiliate Orlando City SC. He then returning to the team for a one-off and scored a club-record four goals in the title game, as the Lions beat Charlotte 7-4.
Still, he said, it wasn't until this year that scoring against MLS competition felt like the new normal. That feeling first manifested itself in his very first two-goal performance against Montreal – not last weekend's match nor the 4-0 home victory against the Impact two weeks earlier that also saw him bag a brace.
“I honestly think it was preseason, the game against Montreal in preseason where I scored two,” he said. “It felt like, I felt really a part of the team. And it was something that felt normal to me. It felt like when I was in Orlando and they looked to me to score. I want to be the guy who if we lose, you can blame me. If we win, it's us doing our job.”
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Dwyer did his job both from the spot and during the run of play on Saturday, opening the scoring with an 18th-minute penalty kick and closing it out in the 64th with a clinical finish just inside the right post after a spot-perfect through ball from second-half sub Toni Dovale.
“His second finish in the game the other day was world-class,” manager Peter Vermes said on Monday. “To be able to hit that ball with the pace that he did, and stick in in the side netting like he did, you couldn't have found a better place in the goal to put it. Just a very difficult place to put the ball at full speed.”
Steve Brisendine covers Sporting Kansas City for MLSsoccer.com.