Cameron's the star in first away win of 2011

Central defender makes an impact on both sides of the ball in victory over rivals FC Dallas

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Photo Credit: 
Nigel Brooks

As he has all season, Geoff Cameron came up big for the Houston Dynamo once again Saturday afternoon against FC Dallas.

Now featuring at center back, the 6-foot-3 defender found a way to provide his club with an offensive lift, scoring an 87th-minute winner to give Houston their first road win of the season and propelling the club into sole possession of first place in the East heading into Saturday night’s play. For Cameron, the goal capped a standout performance against the club’s major rivals, FC Dallas.

“Overall, it was a good game for him,” head coach Dominic Kinnear told MLSsoccer.com by phone after the game. “Geoff covers a lot of ground and he’s calm on the ball, so it benefits us that he’s back there for us.”

On the winner, Cameron made a sharp, diagonal run to gain position at the near post and headed home a Brad Davis corner kick past Dallas goalkeeper Kevin Hartman for the game's lone goal.

The goal capped an afternoon that saw Cameron spend a lot of time marking and chasing a dangerous Dallas frontline that was headlined by the elusive Brazilian Jackson, who hit everything but the back of the net while taking seven shots on the day. Houston's lanky defender made several big plays to stop attacks or block shots.

“They threw some numbers forward," Kinnear said. "They [FC Dallas] have a lot of good players, but I thought he, as well as the whole defense and Tally [Hall] got better as the game went on."

However, the defensive performance was just the appetizer to the feast that was Cameron’s fifth goal of the season – which ties him for the team scoring lead with Brian Ching and Will Bruin.

On the back of Cameron’s late heroics the Dynamo are now well-positioned to not only make the playoffs, but possibly qualify among the top three automatic qualifiers in the Eastern Conference. To stay in that position Kinnear knows that he will need his versatile defender to keep coming through with performances like he did Saturday afternoon.

“He’s one of a number of important players for us,” Kinnear said. “He can play in the back, he can bring the ball up and he’s good on set pieces. For him to get that goal was great for us and he put in some good defensive play.”

Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com. Follow him on Twitter @DynamoExaminer.