MLS winners & losers from a critical Wednesday night

Darlington Nagbe, Victor Vazquez and Cubo Torres all had big games, but the LA Galaxy and San Jose Earthquakes continued to struggle under new coaches. For all our MLS winners and losers from a critical Wednesday night.

Wednesday's Winners

Darlington Nagbe already has one MLS Goal of the Year, scored in his rookie season in 2011, and he could get a shot at a second after scoring a golazo, a shot chipped over U.S. national team keeper Tim Howard from inside the penalty area, in Portland's 2-1 win over Colorado.



USMNT in MLS:
GOALKEEPERS:
Jesse Gonzalez (FC Dallas), 90 minutes, 3-3 vs. Houston
Brad Guzan (Atlanta United), 90 minutes, 0-1 at D.C. United
Bill Hamid (D.C. United), 90 minutes, 1-0 vs. Atlanta United
Tim Howard (Colorado), 90 minutes, 1-2 at Portland

DEFENDERS:
DaMarcus Beasley (Houston), did not dress, 3-3 at FC Dallas
Matt Hedges (FC Dallas), 90 minutes, 3-3 vs. Houston
Justin Morrow (Toronto FC), 90 minutes, 3-0 vs. Philadelphia

MIDFIELDERS:
Paul Arriola (D.C. United), 90 minutes, 1-0 vs. Atlanta United
Alejandro Bedoya (Philadelphia), 78 minutes, 0-3 at Toronto FC
Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), 90 minutes, 3-0 vs. Philadelphia
Darlington Nagbe (Portland), 79 minutes, 1 goal, 2-1 vs. Colorado
Kellyn Acosta (FC Dallas), 90 minutes, 3-3 vs. Houston
Chris Pontius (Philadelphia), sub-28 minutes, 0-3 at Toronto FC
Cristian Roldan (Seattle), 90 minutes, 1-1 at Vancouver
Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy), 90 minutes, 0-2 at Columbus

FORWARDS:
Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC), 90 minutes, 1 goal, 3-0 vs. Philadelphia
Clint Dempsey (Seattle), sub-22 minutes, 1-1 at Vancouver
Jordan Morris (Seattle), 68 minutes, 1-1 at Vancouver

The Seattle Sounders would have liked to gotten out of B.C. Place with three points, which looked possible after Vancouver's Tony Tchani was red carded in the 60th minute with the Sounders leading 1-0, but the 1-1 tie was good enough to extend the Western Conference leaders' unbeaten streak to 10 games, a club record.

It might be too late for Real Salt Lake to make the playoffs -- it's only three points behind sixth-place Vancouver but has played three more games -- but it certainly looked sharp in the 4-0 win over San Jose. Young DP signings Albert Rusnak and Jefferson Savarino combined for two goals and two assists.

D.C. United will take them any way it can. Its 1-0 win over Atlanta United thanks to a Michael Parkhurst own goal marked the first time in MLS history a team has won back-to-back games thanks to a solitary own goal. The win also moved it out of the MLS basement and into 19th place in the overall standings.

Toronto FC's riches were on display in its 3-0 win over Philadelphia as MLS Newcomer of the Year candidate Victor Vazquez had two assists to give him the league lead with 13. The second was on this sweet combination play with Jozy Altidore.


MLS Comeback Player of the Year? That's easy. Cubo Torres didn't score in 22 MLS games with Houston in 2015 and 2016, but his two goals in the 3-3 tie with FC Dallas give him 14 in 22 games in 2017.

Wednesday's Losers

Not much has changed for the LA Galaxy since Sigi Schmid replaced Curt Onalfo and Jonathan dos Santos joined his brother, Gio. An early red card to captain Ashley Cole -- the Galaxy's fifth of the season -- left the Galaxy with just 10 men, and it fell at Columbus, 2-0, extending its winless streak to nine games (eight losses and one tie). The result would have been worse but LA goalkeeper Jon Kempin saved two penalty kicks, including Federico Higuain’s penalty kick awarded after Video Review.

The San Jose Earthquakes also continue to struggle despite a coaching change. The Quakes' 4-0 loss at Real Salt Lake would have been worse but for an RSL goal disallowed on Video Review. San Jose has lost all five road games under Chris Leitch, and they haven't been close: 19-3 margin.

FC Dallas broke out of its scoring drought with three in a span of six minutes on either side of halftime, but it couldn't hold on to a 3-1 lead and had to settle for a 3-3 tie with Houston. Those were three points FC Dallas needed and had in hand, so the home tie hurts a lot.

Atlanta United could become the first expansion team to make the playoffs in its first season since the Sounders in 2009, but if it doesn't, it will rue its play against D.C. United. It was swept, dropping its third game to D.C. United with its 1-0 loss.
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