CHICAGO (Saturday, Aug. 30) – A textbook header from Robert Earnshaw pushed the Chicago Fire past FC Dallas, 1-0, Saturday night to hand the visiting Dallas side its first league loss since May 31.\
A second-half substitute for the Fire, Earnshaw found himself in exactly the right place in the 83rd minute. A Chicago corner kick was deflected out of the box and chased down by Jeff Larentowicz who immediately sent the ball back into play where an unmarked Earnshaw nodded it home just inside the bottom corner for the eventual game-winner.
Hampered by multiple injuries and a couple of suspensions, FC Dallas rolled out a new lineup for the match with Plano native Kellyn Acosta coming back from injury to make his first start in midfield and rookie Ryan Hollingshead getting the nod out wide.
The makeshift lineup struggled to find its rhythm early, but still managed to hold the Chicago attack at bay. Lovel Palmer got an open, point-blank look at goal in just the 15th minute, but Raul Fernandez was there to punch the attempt away and veteran defender Zach Loyd cleared it from further danger. Minutes later Razvan Cocis tried his luck from just outside the 18, but his shot sailed high.
As the Dallas side started to jell, the young lineup created a few chances of its own. In the 22nd minute Je-Vaughn Watson chipped the ball over the back line to Andres Escobar who sent a low cross in front of goal to Hollingshead at the far post, but the rookie’s shot was off target. Late in the half it was Fabian Castillo who threatened to put the visitors on the board after Rookie of the Year candidate Tesho Akindele found the fleet-footed Colombian out wide. Castillo juked veteran Larentowicz, creating plenty of space in the box and taking a quick shot at the near post, but Sean Johnson showed quick feet himself with a kick save to keep Dallas off the board.
Hollingshead had another chance early in the second half, but his left-footed volley clipped the crossbar.