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Winners and Losers from MLS Week 6: Alston, Dykstra Thrive, Berry Falls Flat

Joe TanseyFeatured ColumnistApril 14, 2014

Winners and Losers from MLS Week 6: Alston, Dykstra Thrive, Berry Falls Flat

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    Jim Rogash/Getty Images

    Following a week where few winners and losers were determined on the pitch, Week 6 of play in Major League Soccer painted a clearer picture of who should be classified in those categories. 

    Despite a lack of scoring throughout the league, there were plenty of good stories that developed from the second weekend in April. 

    Continue reading to see who were the biggest winners and losers from Week 6 in MLS. 

Winner: Kevin Alston

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Just over a year after being diagnosed with leukemia, New England left-back Kevin Alston netted his first-career MLS goal on Saturday. 

    After the Revolution's 2-0 win over Houston, the well-wishes came flying in on social media for the six-year veteran of the league. 

    In what has to be the best image from Week 6, Alston is being lifted up by fellow defender Andrew Farrell, who also had a strong game in the back four for the Revs. 

    Alston's goal clearly meant a lot to everyone around the league, and it was a great sight to watch on the pitch as his teammates celebrated with him. 

Loser: Austin Berry

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Austin Berry's return from injury went horribly wrong for Philadelphia in its 2-2 draw with Real Salt Lake. 

    Berry conceded a penalty in the fourth minute after he committed a foul on Olmes Garcia, and then in the 85th minute, he misplayed a ball that set up the second RSL goal. 

    Luckily for the center-back, he will be able to forget the bad showing quickly as a Wednesday match with New York awaits he and his Union teammates. 

Winners: All Parties Involved in the McInerney-Wenger Trade

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    USA TODAY Sports

    One of the eye-popping transactions from Week 5 saw Montreal and Philadelphia swap forwards with Jack McInerney heading north of the border and Andrew Wenger moving closer to home in Philly.

    Both players were able to open their scoring accounts with their new clubs on Saturday in front of the home fans. 

    McInerney struck gold in the 43rd minute of Montreal's 1-1 draw with Chicago, while Wenger netted in the 55th minute of Philadelphia's draw with Real Salt Lake. 

Winner: San Jose's Set Pieces

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    USA TODAY Sports

    San Jose once again asserted its dominance on set pieces in its 1-1 draw with Columbus at Buck Shaw Stadium.

    In the 51st minute, the Earthquakes executed a set piece to perfection as Shea Salinas' cross found an open Chris Wondolowski. 

    Wondolowski eluded a herd of defenders in the box to nod in what was yet another superb cross from Salinas, who now has three assists in 2014. 

    One has to believe that Salinas will have no problem reaching double digits in assists before the All-Star break with the likes of Wondo, Alan Gordon and Steven Lenhart manning the front line. 

Losers: 2013 Regular-Season Conference Champions

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Through six weeks of the 2014 season, New York and Portland have combined for zero wins, four losses and eight draws. 

    Both teams also sit one spot above the bottom of their respective conference tables with four points each. 

    The Red Bulls and Timbers were the class of the league in 2013, but neither have rediscovered that form as of yet, but there are a few signs that things may be turning around soon. 

    Portland did show life against Chivas USA on Saturday, but it was caught out late on an equalizer by Erick Torres, while New York looked bright at times in attack through Thierry Henry.

    However, things do not get easier for either side in Week 7 as New York faces a difficult Philadelphia side at home on Wednesday, while Portland travels to Rio Tinto Stadium on Saturday to face Real Salt Lake. 

Winners: Everyone in the Galaxy Attack

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Before you are late to discovering this, let me be the first to tell you that LA's attack may be even better than last year. 

    Robbie Keane and Landon Donovan have been in fine form to start the season, but it is the play of offseason acquisition Stefan Ishizaki that should have opponents fearing the Galaxy's attack.

    Over the last two weeks, Ishizaki, who is still in the process of becoming 100 percent fit, has shown glimpses of just how dangerous he can be when teamed with Donovan and Keane. 

    As was expected of them, Juninho and Marcelo Sarvas have played well in midfield alongside Baggio Husidic, whose confidence is flowing because of his superstar teammates. 

Loser: Goals

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    USA TODAY Sports

    A week after goals flew in from every direction, few games saw more than two goals hit the back of the net. 

    The only two games that produced plenty of scoring were hosted by Philadelphia and FC Dallas. 

    If you take away the nine goals scored in those clashes, only 11 goals were recorded in the other seven games. 

    The only team that scored more than one goal outside of PPL Park and Toyota Stadium was New England, who put two past Houston. 

Winner: Andrew Dykstra

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    USA TODAY Sports

    D.C. United keeper Andrew Dykstra is doing a stellar job filling in for regular starter Bill Hamid, who was out because of injury for the second straight week.

    In United's Week 6 Atlantic Cup match with New York, he made three saves to earn a clean sheet at home for the second week in a row. 

    With his two quality performances in net, Dykstra became the first keeper since Faryd Mondragon in 2011 to record a shutout win in his first two starts for a team, per Peter Hirdt of the Elias Sports Bureau

    If Dykstra were to record a clean sheet in his next start, he would join the rarefied air occupied by only Kasey Keller, who failed to concede in his first three starts for Seattle, per Hirdt

Winner: Revenge

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    USA TODAY Sports

    During the first week of the season, New England was torched by Houston at BBVA Compass Stadium, 4-0.

    Just five weeks later, the Revolution were on the opposite side of the result as they stormed past the Dynamo to a 2-0 result. 

    In the March 8 match, the Dynamo put nine shots on target and attempted another 11 that were either off target or blocked. 

    On Saturday at Gillette Stadium, Houston got off nine shots, but none of them were on target. 

Loser: The Great Wall of Gambia

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    The Great Wall of Gambia, which is made up of center-backs Futty Danso and Pa Modou Kah, was far from mighty in the 79th minute when Erick Torres ran behind them and scored for Chivas USA.

    As you will notice in the video of the goal above, both center-backs drifted left to where the ball was instead of watching where Torres was at on the pitch. 

    This lack of marking handed Chivas USA their only goal of the night and a valuable point against a Portland side still in search of its first victory. 

     

    Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90. 

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