Image Credit-MLS Soccer
Omar Cummings who played 2 seasons with the Houston Dynamo and a season with the San Antonio Scorpions announced his retirement yesterday from FC Cincinnati where he has been playing for the last couple of years.
The Jamaican international Cummings made his MLS mark with the Colorado Rapids when he was a vital piece of the Colorado Rapids roster that defeated FC Dallas 2-1 in Added Extra Time in the 2010 MLS Cup. Cummings scored a career high 14 goals, tied for 4th in the league that year, in that Cup winning season.
His place in Texas soccer history was secured though during the 2013 MLS Eastern Conference Semifinals with the Houston Dynamo. Cummings, who came to the Dynamo with great expectations, experienced a miserable regular season fraught with knee injuries and did not score a goal. In the playoff series with the New York Red Bulls, however, he earned every penny of his salary for the season. In the first leg of the series with NYRB on November 3 the Dynamo fell behind 2-0 on goals from Tim Cahill and current Dynamo midfielder Eric Alexander. This did not come as a complete surprise to the resigned fans, because the Red Bulls had beaten Houston three times during the regular season. Ricardo Clark pulled back a goal for the Dynamo midway early in the second half on a long range shot from the top of the penalty area. Cummings then entered the match in the 61st minute and shortly after was chopped down by NYRB defender Jamison Olave who was issued a straight red card leaving NYRB a man down and without their best defender. Cummings then produced some magic in added extra-time and tapped in his first goal of the season to pull the Dynamo even in the series heading back to NY.
Three days later the two teams met at Red Bull Arena for the second leg of the series. After the teams traded goals in the first half, Cummings came on as a substitute again in the 64th minute. A scoreless second half, that included spectacular saves from Houston goalkeeper Tally Hall, then went into extra-time or “Cummings time” in that series. Sure enough he scored again in the 104th minute to put the Dynamo through to their third straight Eastern Conference Final.
The Dynamo unfortunately lost to Sporting Kansas City in the Conference finals that year. Since that loss was the beginning of a 3 year downward spiral that culminated in last year’s last place finish in the Western Conference, one could say that Omar Cummings was the last of a long line of Houston Dynamo big-game players that led the team to 4 MLS Cups and 6 Conference Championships over a 8 year period.
Cummings came back to the Dynamo in 2014 and scored 3 goals. After that season, Dynamo coach Dominic Kinnear left for San Jose and the roster turnover included Cummings, who joined San Antonio Scorpions. He made 29 appearances for the Scorpions during their last year in the NASL and scored 10 times. After the Scorpions folded, Cummings moved to FC Cincinnati where he finished his career.
Best wishes for whatever the future brings Omar Cummings.