MLS

Winners and Losers from MLS Week 2

Joe TanseyFeatured ColumnistMarch 17, 2014

Winners and Losers from MLS Week 2

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    Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

    Now that the dust has settled on the second week of play in Major League Soccer, we are aware of who the winners and losers are because of the final scores.

    But, who are the real winners and losers from the eight matches played across North America? 

    That is what we examine here as we pick the winners and losers from Week 2 in MLS. 

Winner: The Seattle vs. Toronto Hype Machine

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    Ted S. Warren/Associated Press

    Ever since Toronto FC made its exuberant splash in the offseason public, its opening match against another team who dished out the cash to a star was circled on everyone's calendar. 

    To the delight of everyone around the league, Jermain Defoe scored twice and Michael Bradley held together the Toronto midfield, while Clint Dempsey showed signs of life for Seattle. 

    The big names came to play in the best atmosphere in the league at CenturyLink Field, and no one outside of Seattle was left disappointed about the quality of the match.

    That same energy must be carried over into the marquee match for next weekend that poses Real Salt Lake up against the LA Galaxy. 

Loser: Mark Bloom's Groin Area

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    via @101greatgoals
    via @101greatgoalsvia @101greatgoals

    The one low part of the Seattle-Toronto clash came when Dempsey connected on a low blow to the groin area of Reds defender Mark Bloom. 

    This screenshot from 101greatgoals.com's Twitter account shows that Deuce clearly hit Bloom in a spot where no man wants to be punched. 

    Whether or not Dempsey will be suspended by the MLS disciplinary committee remains to be seen, but it wouldn't be shocking if he received at least a one-game ban for this conduct. 

Winner: Drama

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    Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

    It just wouldn't be a drama-packed weekend in MLS without the phrase "Goonies Never Say Die" popping up all over the place.

    For the 17th time since the start of the 2012 season, San Jose provided late-match fireworks in stoppage time thanks to a Victor Bernardez goal.

    Despite the comeback spotlight being on the Earthquakes, FC Dallas had a late equalizer of its own through defender Matt Hedges. 

    Although they didn't occur in the 90th minute, Gaston Fernandez and Kekuta Manneh both scored goals late in the second half to equalize for Portland and Vancouver in the two Sunday matches. 

Losers: Chivas USA Fans

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    Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

    Another week, another low blow at the fanbase of Chivas USA. 

    These will keep coming until the fans begin to show at the StubHub Center. 

    After Chivas USA gave its fans a reason to show up in Week 1, the team drew just 6,694 fans to its 1-1 draw with Vancouver. 

    If there remains a diehard Chivas supporters group after the last few years, I urge every one of them to tell their friends about the new-look Goats, who have a ton of potential to thrive in 2014. 

    The key word in that sentence though is potential. Chivas need to string together a few more positive results to make the general public as optimistic as I am about the team's immediate future. 

Winner: Will Bruin

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    Andrew Richardson-USA TODAY Spor

    While you were off clamoring about the debut of Defoe for Toronto, Will Bruin scored his third goal of the season later that night for the Dynamo.

    It has been made clear by his first two weeks on the pitch that Bruin is out to prove that he is a much better player than his 2013 self. 

    Whatever motivation Bruin has found, it has worked and the Dynamo are reaping the benefits of that as they are the only team in the league to win their first two games. 

Winner: The New York Tifo Game

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    Jim O'Connor-USA TODAY Sports

    The formula really is quite simple: win a trophy and become immortalized in a tifo at the next season's home opener. 

    The New York fans honored manager Mike Petke for guiding the team to its first-ever trophy in franchise history with this terrific work of art that was displayed before the match with the Rapids. 

    The final result, a 1-1 draw, may not have been what the fans wanted to see in the home opener, but there is no doubt that they will show up in droves once again in 2014 as the Red Bulls search for more hardware. 

Losers: Montreal and New England

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    Andrew Richardson-USA TODAY Spor

    Nothing good has come from Montreal and New England, two playoff teams in the Eastern Conference from a year ago, in the first two weeks of play. 

    Montreal lost its second straight match of 2014 to Houston on Saturday just hours after New England was embarrassed against a dominant Philadelphia side. 

    New England has to be in the worst shape of the two as the Jose Goncalves situation appears to have taken an ugly turn since he was left out of the matchday squad entirely by manager Jay Heaps.

    The Impact at least have two goals to show for their efforts, while the Revolution are still searching for their first goal. 

Winners: Real Salt Lake

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    Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

    Yes, Real Salt Lake may have dropped a two-goal lead in the final 15 minutes at Buck Shaw Stadium, but the club still has four points after two matches. 

    The Claret and Cobalt were forced to play two games in California to start the season, and picking up four points in LA and San Jose is an impressive feat. 

    There are plenty of positives to be taken out of Jeff Cassar's first two games in charge, including the spectacular form of Nick Rimando and the play of emerging superstar Joao Plata.

    RSL will finally get a chance to play at home on Saturday, but it will face a tough foe in the Galaxy at Rio Tinto Stadium. 

Losers: All Three Cascadia Cup Rivals

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    Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

    After a week where Seattle, Portland and Vancouver racked up seven combined points in the table and six goals, the results were not there in Week 2. 

    Seattle lost at home, while Portland recorded its second straight draw at Providence Park. Vancouver struggled to earn a late draw with Chivas USA at the StubHub Center. 

    In the three matches played by the Cascadia Cup participants, only three goals were scored and two points were earned. 

    It may still be early, but dropping points at this point in the season in games where it shouldn't happen could cost a team when September and October roll around. 

Winners: MLS Teams in CONCACAF Champions League

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    Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

    Before Week 2 kicked off, San Jose, LA and Sporting Kansas City played in the first leg of the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals. 

    Each team scored a goal apiece at home and the Earthquakes were the only side to concede a goal on their own soil. 

    That is a good sign heading into the second legs on Tuesday and Wednesday as all three teams will look to win in Mexico.

    If that dream scenario happens, we will all be drooling over the all-MLS semifinal featuring Sporting and LA, but that is a long 90 minutes away from happening. 

     

    Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90. 

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