The New England Revolution have started to pick up steam following a disappointing start.
Things aren't looking so positive for scuffling FC Dallas, which will be without former league MVP David Ferreira for at least another six weeks.
Seeking a third straight win for the first time in three seasons, the Revolution square off against an FC Dallas club surely looking forward to getting back home Thursday night.
New England (2-2-0) has rebounded nicely since getting shut out in its first two matches. After defeating Portland 1-0 on March 24, the Revolution cruised to a 3-1 win at defending champion Los Angeles on Saturday behind goals from Kelyn Rowe, Chris Tierney and Saer Sene.
"Three points against the champions, huge," Tierney said. "Good result for us and, you know, we're not going to hang on it too long, we're obviously happy with the result, but we're going to look forward to playing Dallas on Thursday."
After taking advantage of Galaxy captain Landon Donovan's absence Saturday, New England won't have to worry about containing Ferreira in this one.
Ferreira, who led FC Dallas (1-2-1) to a Western Conference championship during his 2010 MVP campaign, started just six games last season before breaking his right ankle. He suffered an unrelated fracture in his right foot during a training match in the offseason, and after seeing little progress, decided to undergo surgery Tuesday.
"We feel confident this is the best way to get David 100 percent back to the field," coach Schellas Hyndman told the team's official website.
Ferreira's absence could make regrouping from back-to-back defeats all the more difficult. FC Dallas fell 2-1 at Sporting Kansas City on March 25, then suffered a 4-1 loss at D.C. five days later. The four goals allowed matched its total from the first three games.
"It all happened so fast. I don't think we were really expecting that," defender Zach Loyd said. "In the second half, the team as a whole struggled to play as a unit. It was a frustrating result, but I think we can grow from it, and it will be a motivational factor heading into (this) week."
Forward Blas Perez proved to be the club's lone bright spot, scoring his team best-tying second goal.
While its recent efforts have left much to be desired, Dallas hasn't lost at home, beating New York 2-1 in its season opener before posting a 1-all draw with Portland on March 17.
New England went 15-3-0 versus FC Dallas from Aug. 4, 2001-April 4, 2009, but is 1-2-2 since. The clubs split two games last season with the home team prevailing each time. Thursday marks their only meeting in 2012.
The Revolution last won three in a row during league play Aug. 20-29, 2009.