International breaks always affect Major League Soccer, increasingly so with the amount of international quality players now a part of the league.
But regardless of key absentees, MLS teams had to take to the field, at least once, in what was a surprising round of fixtures.
Six teams played twice in Week 14, with three games taking place on Wednesday night before a full weekend schedule.
There were 34 goals over the 13 games – an average of 2.6 per game, which is more than the season average per game up to this point, and here are the main points to take from Week 14’s action:
1. We need more goals!
Sunday night saw the 14th and 15th 0-0 draws of the season as back-to-back games ended without a ball in the back of the net. MLSSoccer.com’s Matthew Doyle eludes to the fact that it took until Week 31 to see the 15th goalless draw of the 2014 season and we’re on track to beat the record total of 0-0 games (27) by the end of the campaign.
2. LA Galaxy’s fortress fallsEmbed from Getty Images
The Vancouver Whitecaps ended LA Galaxy’s 29-game unbeaten streak at home in all competitions on Saturday night in their 1-0 win over last season’s MLS Cup champions. The Galaxy had not lost in 23 MLS regular season games prior to kickoff but their indifferent start to 2015 saw them fail to produce enough quality as they were beaten by the Whitecaps for the second time this year.
3. Portland are getting it done
The Portland Timbers won their third game in 11 days on Saturday night as they saw off New England Revolution 2-0 thanks to a Fanendo Adi brace. The victory moves them up to fourth in the Western Conference and marks the first time in franchise history that they’ve managed to record three straight MLS wins.
4. Montreal marching on
Montreal Impact won their fourth game of the season on Saturday night in that impress 2-1 victory at Columbus Crew in what was their second 2-1 win in four days after they beat Vancouver on Wednesday. Frank Klopas has really turned things around in recent weeks as the Impact have won four of their last five to move within two points of a playoff spot with as many as six games in hand over conference leaders DC United. It took until Week 23 for the Impact to win their fourth game in 2014, so things are starting to look real good.
5. NYCFC finally return home with three points
New York City FC picked up their first ever road win in MLS on Saturday night in their 2-1 victory over the Philadelphia Union. The result ended a run of 11 games without a win and sees the expansion franchise return to Yankee Stadium in good spirits for the first time this season. They face Eastern Conference opposition in their next 11 games so it’s time to start racking up the victories.