FCD confident it can turn season around

FC Dallas is off to a sluggish start after finishing 2010 as the MLS Cup runner-up.

Coach Schellas Hyndman isn't too concerned, however, considering his club started last year in similar fashion.

Dallas again hopes to break out of its early-season funk when it visits the Vancouver Whitecaps on Saturday.

After advancing to the MLS Cup for the first time in the franchise's 15-year history last season, FC Dallas has the second-fewest points in the Western Conference with four.

With Sunday's 3-2 loss to Portland, Dallas (1-3-1) closed within one of equaling the same number of defeats it had in all of 2010. It didn't lose its third game last year until the penultimate game of the season.

Despite starting slowly, Hyndman knows his club can still turn things around. He has to look no further than last season's team, which also had four points through five games.

"Our biggest concern right now is making sure we have a positive attitude," Hyndman told FC Dallas' official website. "Things haven't gone the way we expected them to go, but we're sitting exactly where we were last year at this time."

Although there is still a lot of time left in the season, Hyndman would like to see some improvement from his defense.

Dallas has already allowed eight goals after yielding 28 in 30 games in 2010. It has also given up at least two goals three times after allowing multiple goals in five games last year.

"I'm concerned that we're giving up early goals," Hyndman said. "We're trying to recognize that our strength is our defense, but in five games we've given up eight goals, which is a little bit embarrassing if that's our strength."

While the defense is still not playing up to its potential, Hyndman should be encouraged from the play of reigning league MVP David Ferreira.

Trailing 3-0 against the Timbers, Ferreira scored in the 83rd minute and assisted on Brek Shea's goal three minutes later. Ferreira has three goals and an assist in the last two matches after failing to make the score sheet in the first three.

Dallas has stayed in the Northwest following its match against Portland in preparation for its first game against Vancouver.

The Whitecaps (1-2-3) have earned a point in all four of their home games, but they haven't won since defeating Toronto FC 4-2 in their season opener March 19.

"The guys are doing well, we just haven't been able to get that winning result," midfielder Shea Salinas said. "We're tying a lot of games, and it's still good picking up points, but I want to get on the field and get some 'W's'."

Salinas, who has yet to play because of a right knee sprain, practiced this week but is still listed as doubtful.

The Whitecaps will have striker Eric Hassli back after he served a one-game suspension in last Saturday's scoreless draw with Chivas USA.

Hassli is tied with Camilo for the team lead with three goals.