SANDY, Utah -- Robbie Findley finally scored a goal and had two other shots that probably should have gone in, too.
After being shut out for the first seven games, Findley was glad to have the one goal and two near misses in Real Salt Lake's 3-1 win over the Houston Dynamo on Thursday.
It was Findley's last chance to score before joining the U.S. national team for final World Cup training next week. Findley is one of 30 players trying to make the 23-man roster for next month's tournament in South Africa and he knows he needs to start scoring in order to have a chance at surviving the final cut.
"I was getting opportunities before and I was able to put one of them away tonight," Findley said. "I should have had a couple more."
Findley leaves Saturday for Princeton, N.J., where the national team practice begins on Monday. Houston captain Brian Ching will also be there as he tries to recover from a strained left hamstring and play in his second World Cup.
Ching hadn't played since April 1, when he injured his hamstring in the Dynamo's home opener. He entered the game in the 62nd minute on Thursday and although he didn't get a shot, he said the hamstring felt fine after playing 28 minutes in the chilly weather.
"My lungs were a little bit better than I thought they'd be, so I'm ready," said Ching, who played on the U.S. World Cup team four years ago. "I felt good out there. I'm just going to have to work on my fitness for a couple of weeks to get where I want to be and hopefully get a little bit sharper."
Real (4-3-1) won its third straight and beat the Dynamo (4-4-1) for just the third time in team history.
Alvaro Saborio scored twice and Javier Morales added two assists for Real, which scored the first three goals on Thursday and held on in a game that got rough several times, especially in the second half.
Houston's Mike Chabala and Joseph Ngwenya both received yellow cards for Houston and Real's Nat Borchers also got a warning card from the officials.
Findley scored on a header in the third minute and missed two other shots on breakaways. He kicked one right to the hand of goalie Pat Onstad about a minute before he scored, then got free again in the second half and shot wide to the left.
Any offense was welcome by Findley, who had yet to score this season after leading Salt Lake last year with 12 goals.
Onstad knocked away his first attempt in just the second minute of the game, but the ball got back to him about a minute later when Kyle Beckerman lofted a pass in front of the net and Findley headed it in for his first goal of the season.
"It was a good ball by Kyle. I had to bury it. I just missed that one before," Findley said. "I just stayed focused and was able to get it down on net."
Ching warmed up on the sideline after halftime and entered the game as a substitute in the 62nd minute.
Houston coach Dominic Kinnear said Ching's return had nothing to do with the national team's training camp next week.
"We put him in to try to and help us win the game and I think he had a good impact for us," Kinnear said.
Ching was on the field when Brian Mullan cut the lead to 3-1 in the 72nd minute with Houston's only goal.
Saborio, an MLS rookie who had two career goals entering the game, put Real up 2-0 on a header in 24th minute and added another in the 61st. He also missed on a header that went right to the goalie.