FCD's goal: First place for first half

After a pair of disappointing losses, FC Dallas are looking to get back to their winning ways Wednesday night when they take on the MetroStars at Giants Stadium.

The two-game losing streak happens to be the longest of the season for FCD, who have spent much of the opening two-thirds of the season on the road. Wednesday's game -- the final game for the Hoops prior to the All-Star break -- ends a three-game road swing before they play 10 of their final 13 games at the new Pizza Hut Park.

"This is our last away game before the opening of the stadium and we have done so well to get ourselves in this position with all the away games," said defender Greg Vanney. "I think it would be fitting for us to come out and win tomorrow night before we start what will be a pretty long home stand."

Vanney's addition to the team after missing the last four matches while on U.S. national team duty for the CONCACAF Gold Cup should certainly help settle the FCD defense. Two weeks ago, the Hoops held a 2-1 lead against the New England Revolution before allowing two late goals for a 3-2 loss, then last week gave up three goals in the first 30 minutes to Real Salt Lake -- a team that earlier this season went on a league-record goalless streak.

"The team has had some not so good results the last couple of weeks. We outplayed New England and had some mental lapses at the end when we needed to finish off the game and then to give up three goals almost instantly to Real. So we have to turn ourselves around and get back on track," said Vanney.

While the MetroStars weren't affected by national team absences, they have been hit hard by injuries over the past few weeks. Honduras international midfielder Amado Guevara, voted to the MLS All-Star team, will miss the match against Fulham FC as well as the Dallas game after undergoing knee surgery.

But FCD will get their first look at French World Cup champion Youri Djorkaeff, who is expected to return to the lineup for the Red-and-Black. The two teams haven't met this season, but they will finish their season series over the next 10 days, meeting for the second time in the opening of Pizza Hut Park on Aug. 6.

The Hoops go into the final game before the break tied atop the Western Conference with the San Jose Earthquakes. But a draw or a victory will send them into the off weekend in the lead, as the Quakes do not play on Wednesday.

"That has to be our focus -- to come out and get three points tomorrow night in New York," said Vanney.

Ron Goode is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Soccer or its clubs.

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