Frisco, TX – FC Dallas will welcome the New England Revolution to FC Dallas Stadium on Thursday with the home side looking to get back to winning ways.
Schellas Hyndman's men started the season well with four points from its opening two games, both of which were at home. But they have been humbled in their last two matches, losing at Sporting Kansas City before getting thumped at RFK Stadium in a 4-1 loss to D.C. United.
Defense has been a problem for Dallas dating back to the end of last season. The club accumulated 13 shutouts in 34 games in 2011, third-most in MLS. But the porous backline has managed just one clean sheet in its last 11 games and has yet to keep one this season.
"I think this week is just going to be a week where we come together as a unit," said defender Zach Loyd. "We have to talk about what is working and what isn't working.
"Hopefully going forward, we can start getting some shutouts and start playing better as a backline."
Striker Blas Perez is off to an impressive start though. The Panamanian has bagged two goals in his last three games to go along with his two assists from the club's opening day defeat of Red Bull New York.
"I have a lot of faith that I will score more goals, and that's what I'm working for," Perez said.
Unfortunately for Perez, he will not have the benefit of David Ferreira's supreme passing ability after it was revealed that the playmaker would be sidelined for 6-8 weeks with a fracture in his right foot.
"David's injury hasn't responded to treatment the way we expected," Hyndman said. "He went back to the doctor for additional tests and got second and third opinions to be sure he chose the best path to recovery for him. We feel confident this is the best way to get David 100 percent back to the field."
Ferreira will be missed as Dallas aims to get back on track against a surging Revolution side.
The Revs did not win back-to-back games over the entirety of the 2011 season, but they managed to put together a short winning streak by edging the Portland Timbers at home before claiming an improbable win at The Home Depot Center against the Los Angeles Galaxy.
"It was a combination of just keeping the ball, kind of getting [the Galaxy] a little bit stretched, and then trying to find the holes," said Jay Heaps after securing his second win as a head coach. "I thought [Lee] Nguyen and Kelyn [Rowe] did a real nice job of finding good spots and when they were able to turn, that's when we find and get space in behind.
"We're still starting to gel, but, on nights like [Saturday] when they all get together, you can see some of the good stuff that we can do."
New England was solid all over the pitch during the two wins, showing prowess up front as well as in the back.
Saer Sene has two goals over the last two games, both of which were headers. His aerial ability could be a major asset for the Revs if they can provide the Frenchman with quality service on a regular basis.
On the other end of the pitch, MLS veteran Matt Reis claimed his 99th victory between the posts. Only five goalkeepers in league history have won 100 games, but Reis will be looking to join their company on Thursday with a win over Dallas.