Winners and Losers from MLS Matches from August 15-17
During the slate of nine matches in Major League Soccer this weekend, it was made clear who the winners and losers were.
Four of the seven victorious sides in Week 23 won by two goals or more in games that were exciting to watch, at least for the winning-team's fans.
Some of those electric offensive displays brought out some terrible man marking and bad decisions inside the box from opposing defenses.
With that being said, the list of winners and losers from Week 23 features players who faced completely different fortunes on the pitch.
Winner: FC Dallas
No team in the league is hotter than FC Dallas at the moment.
After a thorough 5-0 thumping of San Jose Saturday, Oscar Pareja's side have a nine-game unbeaten streak, which has put them comfortably into third place in the Western Conference.
In Saturday's win, Fabian Castillo and Tesho Akindele could not be contained by the San Jose back four, and the defense earned their second consecutive road shutout, which marked the first time that happened since 2005, per the team's official Twitter account.
With all the momentum in the world behind them, the Hoops will look to take points away from a Friday clash with Real Salt Lake at home.
Losers: Jason Hernandez and Jon Busch
Almost every part of San Jose's effort Saturday belongs in this slide, but Jason Hernandez and Jon Busch deserve most of the blame.
Hernandez was turned inside out by Castillo on two occasions, both of which led to goals from the Colombian winger.
The usually reliable Busch let two rebounds fall to the feet of Akindele on two of three goals scored by the rookie forward.
The poor defensive showing by the Earthquakes killed all the momentum the team gained over the last four games, and to make things worse, they have to visit Seattle Wednesday.
Winner: Dillon Serna
Over the course of the season, Colorado's Dillon Serna has shown flashes of what type of player he could be in the future.
He did that again Sunday against D.C. United with his 52nd-minute goal that should be the top candidate for Goal of the Week.
The 20-year-old hasn't played on a consistent basis in 2014, but because of moments like the one he had Sunday, he gives United States fans yet another entertaining young midfield prospect to smile about.
Loser: Ray Gaddis
For most of the 2014 campaign, Ray Gaddis has been reliable at either left or right-back for the Philadelphia Union, but he was the opposite Friday night.
Due to fatigue, and the pace of the Houston attack, Gaddis was at fault for both goals put past Union keeper Andre Blake, who had a nice debut in net.
Gaddis was burned by Giles Barnes on the left wing in the 51st minute in the build-up to the first Dynamo goal, and he was charged with an own goal late in the match after Omar Cummings' pass deflected off him.
Losers: Jackson and Doneil Henry
Toronto FC's defensive unit also had a less-than-stellar game this weekend, as they conceded two penalties in the 4-1 road loss against Sporting Kansas City.
Jackson and Doneil Henry were the guilty parties during the first stanza at Sporting Park, which was salvaged by a Gilberto goal right before the half-time whistle.
Despite being down by a goal entering the second half, the Reds were always facing an uphill climb, which is something that rarely is a positive against the defending champions.
Winner: Joao Plata's Head
For the second consecutive week, the shortest player in the league was able to score a goal with his head.
Joao Plata, who stands at 5'2", used his noggin to power home a Luke Mulholland free-kick in the 53rd minute against Seattle.
The two headed goals over the last two games should be celebrated, but they should also raise questions about the set-piece defending of D.C. United and the Sounders.
Winners: D.C. United 1st-Round Picks
D.C. United pulled off what is somewhat of a rarity in a league now filled with foreign imports for the match against Colorado.
The Black and Red had each of their last four first-round picks from the MLS SuperDraft in the starting 11.
The biggest contribution out of the quartet came from 2013 first-rounder Taylor Kemp, who started at left-back and recorded two assists.
Perry Kitchen (2011), Nick DeLeon (2012) and Steve Birnbaum (2014) were the other three top-draft choices in Ben Olsen's lineup.
The Vancouver Whitecaps found a perfect way to ruin the momentum gained after a big win over Sporting Kansas City last week.
Carl Robinson's team played to a scoreless draw with Chivas USA on the road, which is a result that has to feel more like a loss than a win.
The explosive attack of the Whitecaps produced just three shots on target in a game that they needed to earn three points from.
Loser: Erick Torres
Erick Torres finally got back on track in the shots department with seven against Vancouver, but he failed to find the back of the net for the fourth straight game.
In a not-so-shocking coincidence, Chivas USA has a 366-minute scoreless streak dating back to the last goal Torres scored on July 20 in the waning moments of a loss to D.C. United.
Although any future results will not put the Goats back into the playoff race in the West, it would be nice to see them score every once in a while, but that will probably rely on how Torres does for the rest of 2014.
Winner: Eastern Conference
In three interconference clashes this weekend, all of which were hosted by Eastern Conference sides, the East earned two wins and a draw.
Columbus ran all over the Galaxy in a 4-1 win at Crew Stadium, and D.C. won 4-2 over Colorado Sunday at RFK Stadium.
New England was the only East side not to win against an opponent from the West, but it put in a solid showing in its 1-1 draw with Portland at Gillette Stadium.
Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!