Dom Dwyer knew his 19th goal of the year would come sooner or later, and that he'd have Sporting Kansas City's single-season scoring mark to himself.
He just wanted to make sure that goal made a difference in the standings, not just in the record book.
Dwyer got what he wanted on both counts.
His 40th-minute strike on Friday night broke a tie with Preki, who scored 18 goals in Kansas City's first season in 1996 – and it also broke open what had been a scoreless first half, igniting a 4-0 win over Chivas USA that snapped a four-match losing streak for the defending MLS Cup champions.
“We're back to our winning ways, and that's where we want to be,” Dwyer told reporters in a conference call after the match. “Obviously, I'm happy to break it, and it's something that I want to break myself again in future times and improve on for the rest of this season. Now it's nice, and it's out of the way, and we can focus on winning games and stop talking about it for a little bit.”
Dwyer punctuated that last sentence with a laugh, but he followed up with an earnest statement of confidence in himself and hope for his club.
“I just want to win games,” said the English center forward, who has scored in three straight matches for Sporting. “That's the most important. The goals will come. I'm not worried about it, like 'I have to break it.' I was confident, and I knew I would break it eventually.”
And when he did, it was on a well-timed run to meet a well-placed pass.
“Zeus played a great ball,” Dwyer said. “I tried to time my run in the end, and I saw the keeper coming. I kind of took a little step and let it run across my body, and he came halfway – didn't really commit. It was a fairly easy finish. I should have had a couple of others, but that's how it goes. We got the result and we'll move on.”
Manager Peter Vermes also was glad to see Dwyer get the record – and, like the forward, even happier for the lift the goal provided.
“I'm happy that it was the game-winner,” Vermes said earlier in the conference call. “That's the most important aspect for me. But I congratulate him, because it's obviously a very good record.”
Sporting didn't let up after Dwyer's big moment, though, tacking on goals from Benny Feilhaber, Graham Zusi and Claudio Bieler to complete the rout – which also saw Andy Gruenebaum's first league clean sheet with Kansas City and Sporting's first shutout by any keeper since a 1-0 victory at Portland on June 27.
“I thought this was a dangerous game,” Vermes said. “You can think to yourself that it could be easy. That's just human nature. But I thought our approach was excellent. I thought the guys did all the things they needed to do. Our pressure was excellent, and it was from the whole group. It wasn't just from a couple of guys.”
Steve Brisendine covers Sporting Kansas City for MLSsoccer.com.