MLS

Winners and Losers from MLS Week 7: Keane, Manneh and Shuttleworth All Impress

Joe TanseyFeatured ColumnistApril 21, 2014

Winners and Losers from MLS Week 7: Keane, Manneh and Shuttleworth All Impress

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    The biggest winners and losers from Week 7 in Major League Soccer came from some unexpected places. 

    A few of the winners this week were players who made big plays for their teams in time of need, and others were able to take advantage of the opportunity presented to them. 

    The losers this week include two league veterans, who made crucial mistakes, a team that is sputtering at the moment, and another player that faced plenty of highs and lows in just 73 minutes on the pitch.

    Continue reading on for the complete list of winners and losers from the seventh week of play in MLS. 

Winner: Acrobatics

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    The goal celebrations were superb in Week 7 thanks to the flips and cartwheels that Robbie Keane, Dom Dwyer and Obafemi Martins delivered. 

    Dwyer went airborne on two occasions thanks to his brace for Sporting Kansas City against Montreal. 

    Martins and Keane showed off their moves once for their respective sides, as both former English Premier League players scored in the second half on Saturday night. 

Loser: Dan Kennedy

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    Chivas USA keeper Dan Kennedy is usually one of the better players at his position on a weekly basis, but that fails to show sometimes because of the back four in front of him. 

    On Saturday night, it was Kennedy who looked ashamed, after a dreadful howler that resulted in Seattle's first goal in the 24th minute. 

    Kennedy went up in the air to try and retrieve a free-kick, but instead of coming down clean with the ball, he missed and Clint Dempsey passed the ball along to Lamar Neagle for the easy equalizer. 

Winner: Issey Nakajima-Farran

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    Some of the best stories in sports come from players who take advantage of an opportunity that is handed to them because of their teammates' misfortune. 

    That is what is currently happening in Toronto with Issey Nakajima-Farran, who has scored twice in the last three weeks for the Reds. 

    With a multitude of starters out due to injury, the Canadian international has been able to earn consistent playing time for Ryan Nelsen's side. 

    Against Columbus in Week 5, Nakajima-Farran scored as a substitute, which was good enough to earn him a start over the last two weeks, and he has rewarded Nelsen for his faith in him with some strong midfield play, including the lone goal in the loss to FC Dallas. 

Loser: Fabian Espindola

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    In a matter of a minute, Fabian Espindola went from being the lone scorer in the game between D.C. and Columbus to the player who conceded the equalizing goal. 

    In the 90th minute, Espindola was pickpocketed by Columbus midfielder Wil Trapp, and Trapp then sprinted down the center of the pitch to deliver the game-winning assist on Hector Jimenez's goal. 

    Espindola did have a solid game for United, but when he had possession late in the game and tried to kill time, he let the youngster get the best of him, which is something a veteran of the league should never let happen. 

Losers: Viewers of Goalless Draws

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    It wasn't all glitz and glamour on the pitches across the league in Week 7, as two games ended in goalless draws. 

    Neither match that ended in a 0-0 stalemate produced a ton of fireworks, and that left fans at PPL Park and Dick's Sporting Goods Park wanting more effort out of the two teams playing at each stadium.

    Colorado and San Jose did have a bit of an excuse for their poor play because of rain, but Philadelphia and Houston have no one to blame but themselves for how brutal Saturday afternoon's clash of Eastern Conference foes was. 

Winners: Philadelphia's Defense

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    Despite playing in a boring 0-0 draw on Saturday at PPL Park, the back four of the Union did record their first clean sheet since March 15. 

    This is considered a big accomplishment for the Union since the club has committed so many defensive errors over the last few weeks. 

    With a healthy Sheanon Williams, and a consistent Amobi Okugo leading the back four, more clean sheets should be on the horizon for a unit that is still a work in progress. 

Losers: Montreal Impact

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    After showing signs of progress over the last two weeks with home draws against New York and Chicago, the Impact fell flat against Sporting Kansas City on Saturday. 

    The last-place team in the Eastern Conference saw their three-game unbeaten run come to an end in a game where they attempted just three shots. 

    A better offensive output has to be put forth at Stade Saputo on Saturday against Philadelphia if Frank Klopas' side wants any chance of staying relevant in 2014. 

Winner: Kekuta Manneh

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    Kekuta Manneh entered Vancouver's home match with the LA Galaxy at halftime, and he made an immediate impact. 

    Manneh was impressive throughout the second half, and he was eventually rewarded for his efforts, with a brilliant strike in the 86th minute. 

    In what is sure to be a favorite for MLS Goal of the Week, Manneh beat LA keeper Jaime Penedo, as the ball sailed into the bottom right corner of the net. 

    The most important part of the goal was that it earned the Whitecaps a point at home against a difficult LA side. 

Winner/Loser: Quincy Amarikwa

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    Saturday was the quite the eventful day for Chicago forward Quincy Amarikwa. 

    In the 16th minute of the Fire's 1-1 draw with New England, he scored his fourth goal of the season, which is a new career high. 

    However, the joy of scoring a goal early in the game was cancelled out by the frustration of being sent off in the 73rd minute.

    Amarikwa was ejected by referee Sorin Stoica for a hard challenge on Andy Dorman, a booking that came 39 minutes of game time after he was originally booked for simulation. 

Winner: Bobby Shuttleworth

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    Bobby Shuttleworth preserved a road point for New England at Toyota Park because of his penalty-saving abilities. 

    The New England first-choice keeper denied Juan Luis Anangono in the 90th minute, and then he stopped a rebound attempt from Jeff Larentowicz, to keep the game deadlocked at 1-1. 

    In the second draw of the season for the Revolution. Shuttleworth made five saves to add his growing season total of 18. 

     

    Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90. 

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