8 Things We Learned from MLS Week 13: New England's Trap, Rivalry Fun and More

Joe TanseyFeatured ColumnistJune 2, 2014

8 Things We Learned from MLS Week 13: New England's Trap, Rivalry Fun and More

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    If you haven't learned to expect the unexpected in Major League Soccer, you did in Week 13, as a few mystifying results were produced.

    The biggest shock came from Montreal, as the Impact took down Eastern Conference leaders New England by a 2-0 scoreline.

    Other big names like Sporting Kansas City and Real Salt Lake fell flat, while four teams in rivalry clashes showed us plenty of passion from start to finish.

    Continue reading on for a look at the eight biggest takeaways from MLS Week 13. 

New England Fell into a Trap

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    The New England Revolution went into Stade Saputo expecting to beat up on the Impact and leave with a full three points. 

    Instead, the Revs played in the game that is the favorite to win the "Admiral Ackbar Trap Game of the Year" award. 

    After the 2-0 loss to Montreal, New England manager Jay Heaps admitted his team was a bit off for the entire game. 

    The true sign of the team's lack of urgency came on both goals, as Andrew Farrell and Chris Tierney, both of whom have been strong in defense this season, were burned in space. 

Rivalry Games Are Fun to Watch

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    In the two big rivalry showdowns this weekend, a combined 12 goals were scored by Toronto, Columbus, Portland and Vancouver. 

    On Saturday, Toronto took home the Trillium Cup for the first time since 2011 by scoring in stoppage time by way of Doneil Henry. 

    In the first meeting of the season between Toronto and Columbus, the Reds were victorious at Crew Stadium. 

    Over in Cascadia Sunday, Portland mounted a dramatic comeback, but fell one goal short of earning a point against the Whitecaps. 

    After the seven-goal shootout at Providence Park, the goal tally in the three Cascadia Cup games this season is 19. 

The World Cup Break Can't Come Soon Enough for Sporting KC & Real Salt Lake

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    When Sporting Kansas City and Real Salt Lake lost a decent amount of their stars to World Cup camps a few weeks ago, most people thought they would be able to weather the storm. 

    However, neither side looked anywhere close to spectacular in Week 13, as Sporting Kansas City fell to D.C. and drew with New York, while RSL fell to Seattle in a 4-0 blowout.

    Since the bevy of internationals, like Matt Besler, Nick Rimando, Kyle Beckerman, Graham Zusi and Alvaro Saborio, left for international duty, the two sides have combined for five points in seven matches.

    To make matters worse for RSL, Saborio broke a metatarsal in his foot and is expected to miss a significant amount of time, including the World Cup with Costa Rica. 

Landon Donovan's Actions Speak Louder Than Words

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    Landon Donovan followed up his brace against Philadelphia with his third goal of the season Sunday at Toyota Park in the Galaxy's 1-1 draw with the Fire. 

    Donovan smashed home a Robbie Rogers pass for his 137th regular-season goal, and in the process, he continued to make a point to United States manager Jurgen Klinsmann that leaving him off the United States roster was the wrong decision.

    While Donovan is likely done talking about the matter for now, his actions on the pitch, if he keeps up with his recent scoring form. will be the biggest statement Donovan can send to Klinsmann. 

Experience, Not Youth, Aided Philadelphia's Victory

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    With many fans calling for Philadelphia Union manager John Hackworth to start 19-year-old Zach Pfeffer before the Saturday match with Chivas USA, the man in charge went to the opposite end of the age spectrum for results. 

    Hackworth got that out of 32-year-old Conor Casey and 34-year-old Fred, as the two shined bright for the Union in the 3-0 win over the worst team in the Western Conference. 

    Casey bagged a brace in the 28th and 66th minutes, while Fred was a force in the midfield all night against a Chivas side that needs a lot of help. 

    If the Union opt to start the older pair again in Week 14, they will do so against one of the youngest lineups in the league in Vancouver. 

FC Dallas and Chivas USA Need to Become More Disciplined

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    Through the first 13 weeks of the season, FC Dallas and Chivas USA have combined for 13 red cards.  

    Both teams played to the final whistle with 10 men Saturday, and as a shock to no one, they both ended up on the wrong end of the final score. 

    Oscar Pareja's side did manage to win their first two games when a red card was shown, but since then, they have been outscored 9-3 in games that have seen Adam Moffat, Zach Loyd, Michel and Je-Vaughn Watson sent off. 

    Chivas USA have not fared well at all when the club plays with 10 men in 2014 with six of the seven losses by the Goats coming in games where a red card has been issued. 

     

Fabian Espindola's Name Should Be Put in the MVP Race

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    Little was made about D.C.'s offseason acquisition of Fabian Espindola due to the arrival of Eddie Johnson and his large contract. 

    While Johnson has struggled to make a consistent impact on his new team, Espindola is in terrific form at the moment for the Black and Red. 

    With his goal against Sporting Saturday, Espindola extended his scoring streak to three consecutive games, a stretch that has seen him move up the Golden Boot chart with seven goals.

    To add to his goal tally, Espindola also has five assists, which means he has contributed in some fashion to 12 goals this season, a feat that just he and Obafemi Martins have achieved. 

Fanendo Adi Is a Nice New Addition to the Portland Attack

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    Fanendo Adi's MLS career is just four games old, but in that small sample size, he has impressed in the Portland attack.

    Adi notched a brace against Chivas USA Wednesday, before he delivered a delightful assist on Will Johnson's late goal in the attempted comeback against Vancouver. 

    If the 23-year-old Nigerian can prove that he can do this in every match for the Timbers, we could see a charge up the standings by Caleb Porter's side. 

     

    Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90.