Winners and Losers from MLS Matches from September 19-21

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistSeptember 22, 2014

Winners and Losers from MLS Matches from September 19-21

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    Week 28 was just your normal wacky weekend in Major League Soccer. 

    From a shocking performance in goal at the start of the weekend to a game with dual red cards Sunday, there was no lack of excitement across the league this weekend, unless you were stuck at PPL Park. 

    The results around the league also gave us a better look at who will occupy the 10 playoff positions at the end of October. 

    Continue reading on for a look at the biggest winners and losers from the latest weekend of play in MLS. 

Loser: Joe Nasco

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    The last time we saw Joe Nasco on an MLS field, he lasted less than a minute against the Galaxy.

    Nasco may have been better off getting sent off against Real Salt Lake Friday night, as he committed a few inexcusable errors. 

    The Colorado keeper put together a blooper reel of how not to play the goalkeeper position in just 90 minutes, which is quite the impressive task. 

    His most embarrassing blunder came in the 63rd minute, when he dropped a corner right on to the feet of Carlos Salcedo, who proceeded to score the first goal of his career.

Winner: Jose Mari

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    Before all the terrible mistakes committed by Nasco, the Rapids held a 1-0 lead thanks to a stunning goal from Jose Mari. 

    The Spaniard fizzed his 21st-minute strike across the grass and into the bottom-right corner of the net. 

    On its path to the goal, the ball took a ridiculous right-to-left curve to beat the diving Nick Rimando.

    If only Colorado stopped the game after that goal, because it was all downhill from that point on.

Winner: Jack McInerney

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    In the only game this weekend with zero playoff implications, Montreal took down San Jose 2-0 at home. 

    The scorer of the first Impact goal was Jack McInerney, who had not scored a goal in league play since June 29. 

    After his brace against Houston on that day, the young American went 10 games without a goal, which was a streak that was beginning to mirror his second-half slump from 2013. 

Loser: Vancouver Without Gershon Koffie

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    The Vancouver Whitecaps badly missed the presence of Gershon Koffie alongside Matias Laba in the defensive midfield Saturday. 

    In the 3-0 loss to Cascadia rivals Portland, the Whitecaps were torched by the entire Timbers midfield, and they fell behind their neighbors to the south in the race for the final Western Conference playoff berth. 

    With the loss, Vancouver extended its record without Koffie to 3-7-6, which will not get it anywhere close to the playoffs.

Winner: Alan Gordon

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    Alan Gordon once again repaid Bruce Arena for rescuing him from San Jose with a game-winning goal in the Galaxy's 2-1 win over FC Dallas. 

    Gordon, who was traded from San Jose to LA on August 11, has scored four goals for the Galaxy since his arrival, three of which have been in substitute appearances. 

    The latest goal from 32-year-old forward not only won the game, but it also clinched a playoff berth.

Loser: Jim Curtin

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    Jim Curtin has received plenty of praise for his job as interim manager of the Philadelphia Union, but his lineup choices Saturday night were not exactly smart. 

    In the 0-0 draw with Houston, Curtin opted to change only the goalkeeper from the squad that lost in extra time to Seattle in Tuesday's U.S. Open Cup final. 

    That decision resulted in 17 shots, but only three on target, as tired legs and poor finishing spoiled a match that should have produced three points to help the Union keep pace in the East playoff race. 

Winner: Bradley Wright-Phillips

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    Saturday's match at Red Bull Arena belonged to Bradley Wright-Phillips. 

    The Golden Boot leader scored his third hat-trick of the season in a crucial 4-1 victory for the Red Bulls over Seattle. 

    Wright-Phillips, who needs only four goals to break the single-season league scoring record, became the fourth player in MLS history to net three hat-tricks in one season, per ESPN's Paul Carr

Loser: Seattle

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    It's hard to blame Sigi Schmid for benching a few of his stars after the taxing 120-minute win in the U.S. Open Cup final Tuesday night. 

    However, Schmid's decision to bench Clint Dempsey, Obafemi Martins and DeAndre Yedlin ended up hurting the Sounders. 

    Yedlin's replacement, Dylan Remick, conceded the penalty that resulted in the second Wright-Phillips goal, and by the time Martins and Dempsey reached the pitch, the team was down by three goals. 

    On top of the loss, Seattle lost its three-point lead on LA in the Western Conference and Supporters' Shield standings, which makes the final few weeks of the season just a bit more interesting. 

Winner?: Chicago

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    We're not exactly sure what category to put Chicago in after its 3-3 draw with D.C. United. 

    On the bright side, the Fire didn't fall flat on their face and played a tough game against the top team in the Eastern Conference. 

    The bad news was they tied the single-season record for draws with 16, per's Matthew Doyle

    Since Frank Yallop's side did earn an unexpected point, we'll consider them winners, but not by much given the record that was reached at Toyota Park Saturday night. 

Losers: Nigel Reo-Coker and Jackson

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    Things got a little rough in the 66th minute at BMO Field Sunday, as Nigel Reo-Coker and Jackson decided to get in a shoving match and earn red cards. 

    Reo-Coker shoved the Toronto FC player while he was on the ground, and when Jackson got up, the fracas continued before referee Edvin Jurisevic sent both players packing. 

    Both players will miss games against teams from Cascadia, as Reo-Coker will miss Chivas USA's clash with Seattle and Jackson will not face Portland next week. 

    Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90. 

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