Kenny Cooper’s Controversial Late Goal Steals El Capitan for FC Dallas


MAR 17, 2013; Frisco, TX, USA; FC Dallas forward Kenny Cooper (33) scores the game winning goal against Houston Dynamo goalkeeper Tally Hall (1) during the second half at FC Dallas Stadium. FC Dallas defeated Houston Dynamo 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

A span of just over a minute allowed FC Dallas to go up 2-0 at home in the Texas Derby against the Houston Dynamo. With a five-minute lapse in the second half, they nearly coughed up two points in the table by allowing their rival to equalize. But Kenny Cooper came to the rescue in stoppage time, controversially scoring the game winner in the closing minutes to save the victory for FC Dallas on Sunday.

The home club went up 34 minutes into the match when a poor clearance by Bobby Boswell was headed back on goal and over the head of Dynamo goalkeeper Tally Hall by Dallas center back George John. Less than two minutes later, Andrew Jacobsen blasted a redirection of David Ferreira’s corner kick past Hall to give Dallas their first-ever multi-goal lead against Houston in their 20th match against their fellow Texans.

Dominic Kinnear made a critical substitution for Houston in the 69th minute, swapping out Adam Moffat for Andrew Driver — an offseason loan acquisition from Heart of Midlothian in the Scottish Premier League. Driver automatically sparked forward momentum in the Dynamo attack, pushing the ball further up the flanks and getting the visitors in position to threaten.

Ten minutes after entering the game, Driver would strike the first goal for Houston himself. Kofi Sarkodie picked the pocket of Dallas midfielder Michel, stealing the ball deep in the attacking zone. Immediately finding the Scottish winger, Sarkodie slotted on for Driver to drive off the crossbar and past goalkeeper Raul Fernandez to halve the deficit. In the 83rd minute, the Dynamo equalized when Fernandez fumbled his catch of a cross by Cam Weaver (who entered the game just two minutes earlier) and dropped it right into the path of Brad Davis.

It looked like Dallas, which had looked the better side for most of the match, had inexplicably thrown away their two-goal lead and were destined to draw the derby. Then Michel lofted a cross into the box in the waning moments before the final whistle. Falling right in front of Kenny Cooper, the former Portland Timber and New York Red Bull fanned on his header. He may or may not have trapped the ball with his arm in the box, the footage inconclusive, but what was conclusive was his finish as the ball fell to his feet. Beating Hall with the second chance, Cooper stole the victory just when it appeared the two-time defending Eastern Conference champions were about to claim a point.


FC Dallas Stadium
March 17, 2013
Attendance: 15,623


  • 34′ — DAL/George John (unassisted)
  • 35′ — DAL/Andrew Jacobsen (David Ferreira)
  • 79′ — HOU/Andrew Driver (Kofi Sarkodie)
  • 83′ — HOU/Brad Davis (unassisted)
  • 90′ — DAL/Kenny Cooper (Michel)


  • DAL (4-1-2-1-2): Raul Fernandez; Jair Benitez (Je-Vaughn Watson/73′), Matt Hedges, George John, Zach Loyd; Andrew Jacobsen; Michel, Jackson (Fabian Castillo/80′); David Ferreira; Kenny Cooper (Eric Hassli/89′), Blas Perez
  • HOU (4-1-2-1-2): Tally Hall; Corey Ashe, Jermaine Taylor, Bobby Boswell, Kofi Sarkodie (Cam Weaver/81′); Adam Moffat (Andrew Driver/69′); Brad Davis, Oscar Boniek Garcia; Ricardo Clark; Giles Barnes, Will Bruin (Brian Ching/49′)