Sporting Kansas City's center forward scored for the first time in five outings this season, providing an insurance goal in the 85th minute of Sunday night's 3-1 home victory over the Colorado Rapids. Afterwards, Dwyer exchanged some heated words with longtime US national team goalkeeper Howard.
“We're both competitive people,” Dwyer said. “We both like to win, but only one person can win. It was loud. I couldn't really hear. I went to shake his hand. It happens in football sometimes, you know?
“Like I said, we're competitive people, but it's a game at the end of the day.”
The 26-year-old Dwyer had been working hard all night, and got his payoff when he ran onto Seth Sinovic's cross and caught Howard going the wrong way. Dwyer had previously been stuffed at close range by the veteran in a 1-v-1 situation, but still pressed to bag his first goal of the season in the waning moments of a match that seemed all but decided.
“I had a feeling coming into tonight that I would get one,” Dwyer said. “I needed one, so the guys encouraged me and they believed in me. Coach [Peter Vermes] stuck with me.
“It's just nice to get a goal, and it's more important to get three points.”
Sinovic, who scored the opener in the sixth minute, set the plate for Dwyer after a nice ball down the left side from midfielder Soni Mustivar. Sinovic's low cross found Dwyer in stride, and the striker finished with aplomb.
“Seth just played a great ball in,” Dwyer said. “I tried to get myself in the box. I knew if I hit it first-time across the 'keeper, he's probably going to be coming across – and he was, so I just stuck it in the wrong way.”
Vermes said while the goal from Dwyer was good to see, it was not absolutely necessary for the recently-naturalized forward to find the back of the net.
“Before today, he had 101 starts and he scored 52 goals for us, so his strike rate is fantastic,” Vermes said. “Sometimes goalscorers go through some (difficult) moments, but the thing I love about him is that he doesn't shy away from the opportunities. There are some guys, when they get in that kind of a situation, they almost pull themselves out of opportunities because they're almost afraid to miss.
"He was doing everything he could to make sure he picked the right moments.”
Sporting KC's manager was also pleased with Dwyer's work in other aspects of the match, including the assist delivered on Gerso's game-winning goal in the 58th minute. Dwyer freed himself in the middle of the field on a counter and pushed the ball ahead to Roger Espinoza, who hit a perfectly-weighted through ball that set up the winger's first goal in MLS.
“[Dwyer] was doing the little extra things to help the team as well,” Vermes said. “So for him to score is great, but at the same time, all the other things that he does in the game are very, very important to the way that we play.”