Luke Rodgers scored in the 36th minute and the New York Red Bulls hung on to defeat FC Dallas 1-0 Saturday night and snap an eight-game winless streak.
Goalkeeper Frank Rost made three saves for his second shutout of the season in his return to the lineup after missing three games due to a torn quadriceps.
New York earned just its second road triumph of the season (2-4-9) after an 0-3-5 stretch.
Rodgers was making his first start, and just second appearance, since recovering from a heel he injured July 9.
"I didn't feel as sharp as I usually do, but you're only going to get that with match fitness," Rodgers said. "I've got 45 minutes under my belt now, which is big for me. It's just so massive to be back playing and I'm just so happy with the win."
New York coach Hans Backe was impressed.
"He was phenomenal," Backe said. "He was away for two and a half months, but his energy, his character, we have missed him so much for these 8-10 weeks."
FC Dallas, 1-4-1 in its last six MLS games, was missing top goal-scorer Brek Shea, who was serving a one-game suspension for yellow card accumulation.
Dallas still controlled large stretches of play, generating numerous scoring chances, particularly over the last 15-20 minutes or so as they pressed for the equalizer, but were unable to solve Rost.
"Very disappointing outcome. I thought we were prepared to play," Dallas coach Schellas Hyndman said. "I thought we played extremely well that first 20-25 minutes, created many very good opportunities for ourselves, but then didn't finish and scoring goals is probably the most important thing in soccer.
"This might be the first time in a long time that I've seen the discouragement in the locker room. People are really disappointed. I'm encouraged to see how determined they were and fighting to get that goal."
Dallas outshot New York 18-6, with nine taken by forward Maicon Santos. The club's best opportunity came early, when Santos drilled a 12-yard shot off the left post in the fifth minute.
"It's frustrating to come down and have the ball hit the post or the ball passing the post so close, but what are you going to do?" Santos said.
He has two goals in six games for Dallas since arriving in a trade with Toronto FC on Aug. 2.
"He's a very good player," Hyndman said. "I think he showed the quality of combining, the quality of holding the ball, breaking loose and then distribution. Probably the best part of his game is finishing and tonight, it just wasn't going to be there."
The Red Bulls also were missing their leading scorer, Thierry Henry, who didn't make the trip to Texas due to inflammation of his Achilles tendon. He shares the MLS lead with 12 goals.
"He's been sore in his Achilles for a long time now," Backe said. "We know when we go into three games in one week, he would have been injured for the two home games. He probably could have played, but probably not 100 percent and I think it's just ridiculous to get players out there who can't do 100 percent."
Rodgers converted a nice feed from Juan Agudelo for his seventh goal of the season. Agudelo made the run into the right side of the penalty area before sliding a pass across the box, past Dallas defender George John, to the charging Rodgers for a 2-yard chip shot past scrambling goalkeeper Kevin Hartman.
"I saw Juan Agudelo make a run, the ball broke through to him, and I just had to make sure I was in the 6-yard box to score," Rodgers said. "The ball came in, it seemed to jump up a bit, and sometimes when you hit them perfectly, the keeper saves them, but it sort of rolled up my leg and went in."
FC Dallas observed a moment of silence before the game and put on a halftime tribute in honor of broadcaster and former player Bobby Rhine, who died Sept. 5 from a heart attack. He was 35.