It was not déjà vu all over again, but it was close to it.
One year after beating the New England Revolution on penalty kicks to claim the MLS Cup title in their inaugural season, the Houston Dynamo rallied for a 2-1 win over New England and a second consecutive championship at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C.
New England, playing in its fourth MLS Cup final in the last six years, opened the scoring in the 20th minute when Steve Ralston’s cross found an open Taylor Twellman in the box, and Twellman’s header beat Pat Onstad.
In the second half, the Dynamo changed formations, switching from their tried and tested 4-4-2 to a 3-5-2 formation to match New England’s strength in the midfield. The game soon turned, and the Dynamo tied the game in the 61st minute.
Brian Mullan’s cross fell to Dwayne De Rosario at the back post, and his centering pass bounced around the box before Joseph Ngwenya finally slid to send the ball under a charging Matt Reis.
With overtime a looming possibility, De Rosario produced a moment of magic to help the Dynamo lift the trophy once more. Craig Waibel and Brad Davis exchanged passes near the right sideline, and Davis then bent a cross to the top of the box. De Rosario met it with a sudden, decisive header that beat Reis to the near post and sent the Dynamo fans in the crowd of 39,858 into ecstasy.
Onstad stood tall in the final minutes, including a reflex save on a close-range Jeff Larentowicz header, and finished with seven saves. When the final whistle blew, the Dynamo had become only the second team in MLS history to repeat as champions.
De Rosario, one of several Houston players to win his fourth MLS Cup title, became the first player in league history to earn two MLS Cup MVP awards.
Houston Dynamo vs. New England Revolution
November 18, 2007 -- RFK Stadium, Washington DC
MLS Cup Final
NE -- Taylor Twellman 3 (Steve Ralston 2, Shalrie Joseph 2)
HOU -- Joseph Ngwenya 1 (Dwayne De Rosario 2) 61
HOU -- Dwayne De Rosario 2 (Brad Davis 1, Craig Waibel 2) 74
Houston Dynamo -- Pat Onstad, Craig Waibel, Ryan Cochrane, Eddie Robinson, Wade Barrett, Brian Mullan, Richard Mulrooney, Dwayne De Rosario, Brad Davis, Nate Jaqua, Joseph Ngwenya (Stuart Holden 80).
Substitutes Not Used: Zach Wells, Corey Ashe, Mike Chabala, Paul Dalglish, Patrick Ianni, Chris Wondolowski.
New England Revolution -- Matt Reis, Avery John, Michael Parkhurst, Jay Heaps, Wells Thompson, Shalrie Joseph, Jeff Larentowicz, Steve Ralston (Andy Dorman 78), Khano Smith, Pat Noonan, Taylor Twellman.
Substitutes Not Used: Brad Knighton, Adam Cristman, Marshall Leonard, Kenny Mansally, Sainey Nyassi, James Riley.
HOU -- Wade Barrett (caution; Professional Foul) 57
NE -- Khano Smith (caution; Game Disrepute) 65
Referee: Alex Prus
Referee's Assistants: Adam Wienckowski; Rob Fereday
4th official: Brian Hall
All statistics contained in this boxscore are unofficial