'Caps look to get back on winning track

Team returning to health

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As the team prepares to host FC Dallas at Empire Field on Saturday, Vancouver Whitecaps FC are of two minds.

The good news is that they’re undefeated in four matches at home so far this season. However, they also haven’t won a game since their season opener, meaning that there is an increasing sense of urgency to add to the win column.

“The guys are doing well, we just haven’t been able to get that winning result,” said Shea Salinas. “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 looks closer than ever to getting back to game action after recovering from a minor setback to a recurring knee injury.

Injuries remain a factor for the club, but it appears that the list could soon be shortened. Terry Dunfield returned for the duration of training on Tuesday after missing last weekend’s match with a groin strain. Rookie Michael Nanchoff, meanwhile, participated for the full length of practice for the first time this season.

“It feels awesome to get back on the field,” said Nanchoff. “[But] it’s going to be a little bit before I get my legs back underneath me to keep up with the pace.”

Two other players who are now healthy, and could be needed, are centre back Mouloud Akloul and centre midfielder Alexandre Morfaw. Both played the full 90 minutes in a reserve match on Sunday.

There was also a new face at practice as the club welcomed midfielder Peter Vagenas on trial. The MLS veteran had been looking forward to playing in Japan, but with the J.League season postponed due to the earthquakes that have ravaged the country, so too were his plans to play abroad

“I wanted to try something new,” said Vagenas. “I’ve known [Whitecaps FC director of soccer operations] Tommy [Soehn] for years and he literally picked up the phone and said get up off your couch and come train.