Chivas USA-FC Dallas Preview

The Associated Press

Chivas USA hadn't beaten FC Dallas in nearly four years before earning a rare victory back in March.

Now, it will look to end another winless stretch at Dallas' expense as visiting Chivas seeks its first MLS victory in 12 tries Thursday night.

Chivas USA (3-10-3) has gone 0-9-2 since beating Vancouver on March 30 and fired coach Jose Luis Sanchez Sola on May 30 in favor of interim coach Jose Luis Real Casillas.

The Goats were on the verge of a win Saturday before allowing a goal in the 88th minute of a 1-all draw with New England.

Chivas has scored the first goal in two of its last three matches, but it doesn't have a victory to show for it.

"We need to get comfortable playing with a lead," keeper Dan Kennedy said. "We've got to be courageous."

The defense has been better lately, though, giving up one goal in each of the last two games after going seven straight MLS matches allowing at least two.

"We know that with the team we have, we know that with the work that the results will come sooner or later," defender Mario de Luna said.

One of Chivas' few wins this season came against Dallas, 3-1 on March 10 at home, after it had gone 0-4-3 in the previous seven meetings. Chivas is 0-2-2 in its last four visits to Dallas, though midfielder Eric Avila is familiar with the pitch after spending 2008-11 with Dallas.

"It's a big field, and it's going to be hot," Avila said. "Obviously I played there a bunch of times and know exactly where and how to move out there. It will be nice and big and the pitch is always ready."

Dallas (8-3-6) is in contention in the Western Conference despite going 0-3-1 in league play last month. Blas Perez's goal in the seventh minute of stoppage time salvaged a 2-all draw with Philadelphia on Saturday.

Coach Schellas Hyndman's team also was eliminated in the U.S. Open Cup quarterfinals during a disappointing month which he believes could end up helping his team.

"June hasn't been a great month for us, but what June has done is it's shown our best character," Hyndman said.

Captain David Ferreira scored his only goal of the season in the first meeting with Chivas USA, and Thursday he'll be celebrating the one-year anniversary of his return from an Achilles injury.

Since July 4, 2012, Ferreira's 15 assists are one behind Landon Donovan for the MLS lead, an impressive total considering Ferreira is the most-fouled player in the league.

"I think he's as productive as before (the injury)," Hyndman said. "I'd like to see him a little bit more dynamic going forward, but I also understand how difficult it is for him to find that space because people won't let him in there."

Dallas is 7-0-2 at home in league play, joining Vancouver as the only teams without a home loss.

Chivas is 1-5-1 with a minus-9 goal differential on the road.