Dynamo, Dallas have always been enemies

Looking back at five key games in history of Houston-Dallas rivalry

This article will appear in the May 28, 2011 issue of the Houston Dynamo Gameday Magazine.

From the first whistle of the first game, the Dynamo-Dallas
rivalry has been passionate, on the field and off. Even preseason games have
been heated, including a Brian Mullan-Brek Shea fight in 2009 and Jair Benitez
spitting on Geoff Cameron in February 2011. Traveling supporters – more from Houston than from Dallas,
of course – have added atmosphere to every game.

Since last year, with only two head-to-head regular season
meetings, each matchup takes on added significance in the rivalry. Ahead of the
first official meeting of 2011 and the 20th competitive match between the clubs (Buy Tickets), here are some of the key moments in the history
of the rivalry:

May 6, 2006
Houston 4, FC Dallas 3
Robertson Stadium
Houston
leads series 1-0

In front of more than 21,000 fans, the teams opened the
rivalry with a high-scoring barnburner. Ricardo Clark, Brian Ching, and Dwayne
De Rosario scored in quick succession in the final 15 minutes of the first half
to give Houston a 3-0 lead, but Dallas got back in the game with two goals in
two minutes from Carlos Ruiz and Ramon Nunez. De Rosario responded six minutes
later with a dramatic goal to make it 4-2, and the Dynamo held on for the win.
They would go on to a 2-1-1 mark against Dallas
to win El Capitán in its inaugural season.
Match Summary

September 30, 2007
Houston 3, FC Dallas 0
Pizza
Hut Park
Houston
leads series 6-1-2

Still the most-talked-about (and most-viewed-on-YouTube)
moment in the history of the rivalry came from this fall Sunday afternoon.
After Dwayne De Rosario scored in first-half stoppage time, the Dynamo got
second-half goals from Eddie Robinson and Stuart Holden and were cruising to
the first road victory in the history of the series. Houston’s Ricardo Clark
and Dallas forward Carlos Ruiz lost their
tempers in the final minute, with Clark aiming
a violent kick at Ruiz’s chest and earning a then-league-record suspension that
kept him suspended through the playoffs and into the 2008 season.
Match Summary

November 2, 2007
Houston 4, FC Dallas 1 (extra time)
Houston
wins series 4-2 on aggregate
Robertson Stadium
Houston
leads series 7-2-2

The height of the rivalry was this second leg of the 2007
Western Conference semifinals, held on a Friday night before a packed house of
more than 30,000 fans. Leading 1-0 from the first leg, Carlos Ruiz put Dallas ahead 2-0 at
halftime. In the second half, however, Houston
mounted a furious rally after Dallas
was reduced to 10 men, and the Dynamo tied the aggregate score on strikes from
Stuart Holden and Brian Ching. In extra time, Ching and Brad Davis put the
series away, and Houston
went on to take a second straight MLS Cup title.
Match Summary

May 28, 2008
Houston 2, FC Dallas 2
Pizza
Hut Park
Houston
leads series 7-2-4

The second of three ties between the teams in 2008, this
match saw Houston’s Eddie Robinson and Dallas’ Andre Rocha
ejected and produced a second consecutive amazing finish. The Dynamo had tied
the season opener on a stoppage-time goal from rookie Geoff Cameron, but they
were only in this game thanks to the first career goal from Corey Ashe.
Finally, Houston
earned a road point when Dwayne De Rosario crashed the net to convert a rebound
in the third minute of stoppage time.
Match Summary

May 5, 2010
FC Dallas 1, Houston 0
Robertson Stadium
Houston
leads series 9-4-6

It’s not a rivalry unless both teams have something to brag
about, and Dallas earned its first win in Houston in 10 tries last
May en route to its best season ever and a spot in the MLS Cup final. Although
Jair Benitez was ejected in the 73rd minute, Dallas pulled out the surprise win on a late
free kick, as Brek Shea headed the ball across the face of goal, and Ugo
Ihemelu was on hand to head it home.
Match Summary

Get Tickets for Saturday's rivalry showdown!