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MLS Player Power Rankings: Bruin, Miller Impress Up Front in Week 1

Joe TanseyFeatured ColumnistMarch 11, 2014

MLS Player Power Rankings: Bruin, Miller Impress Up Front in Week 1

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    Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

    Now that the first weekend of play in Major League Soccer is over with, it is time to hand out some awards to some of the top players. 

    We do that here by ranking the 20 best players from Week 1. 

    Every week we will be ranking the top players in the league, and once the second week begins, this will become a cumulative rating. 

    Continue reading to see who topped the first MLS player power rankings. 

20. Fabian Castillo

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    Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

    Fabian Castillo was one of the many standout performers for FC Dallas in Oscar Pareja's first match in charge. 

    The young Colombian opened the club's 2014 scoring account with a 16th-minute equalizer that slid past Montreal keeper Troy Perkins. 

    Castillo also recorded two shots on goal as he combined well with Mauro Diaz and Blas Perez in the Dallas attack. 

19. Dom Dwyer

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    Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

    Dom Dwyer recorded the most shots of any MLS player in Week 1, but he failed to put away one of his six attempts into the back of the net. 

    Dwyer is lucky he fired that many shots in Sporting's 1-0 loss to Seattle as the Sounders defense turned in a stellar showing that was headlined by Chad Marshall and DeAndre Yedlin. 

    While he kept searching for a goal, Dwyer was also never whistled for offsides during his 90 minutes on the pitch. 

18. Chad Marshall

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    Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

    Chad Marshall's defensive form was reinvigorated in his first game for Seattle.

    Reunited with former manager Sigi Schmid, Marshall helped the Sounders pitch one of the four shutouts across the league in Week 1. 

    Marshall made five interceptions and three effective clearances in his first appearance in rave green. 

17. Aaron Maund

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    Reed Saxon/Associated Press

    Aaron Maund was one of three center-backs named to our Team of the Week due to his success in the back line for Real Salt Lake. 

    The surprise standout effort from the 23-year-old saw him make 14 effective clearances against a Galaxy attack that would not stop threatening the RSL goal all night. 

    Maund and his defensive companions will face another tough front line in San Jose on Saturday. 

16. Chris Seitz

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    Cooper Neill/Getty Images

    Chris Seitz had the second-best goalkeeping performance during the first week of play in North America. 

    The 26-year-old, who has made 13 appearances in the last three seasons for FC Dallas, stopped six shots in the win over Montreal. 

    For now, it looks like Seitz will be the first-choice keeper for Pareja, and hopefully he can take advantage of the opportunity that he has been fighting for for quite some time. 

15. David Horst

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    Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

    David Horst was one of many players who starred in their debut for a new club on Saturday.

    Now drenched in Dynamo orange, Horst paired with Jermaine Taylor to stifle the dangerous, young New England attack. 

    Horst's performance has been overshadowed by the terrific four-goal outing by the Dynamo attack, but if you look closely, the center-back was very active on set pieces as well. 

14. Justin Mapp

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    Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

    Montreal's Justin Mapp was one of the few players who impressed in a losing effort this weekend. 

    Mapp was his usual self on the right wing for the Impact as he looked to link up with the players alongside him in attack. 

    The 13-year league veteran provided Sanna Nyassi with an assist on the first goal of the Impact's match against FC Dallas before things went downhill for the Canadian side. 

13. Maurice Edu

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    Steve Dykes-USA TODAY Sports

    One of Maurice Edu's goals heading into the 2014 season was to get back in the United States men's national team picture. 

    If he continues to play like he did on Saturday against Portland, he could be a surprise call-up for the game against Mexico on April 2. 

    Edu proved his worth on numerous occasions as he moved back to help out the young Union back four in times of need versus a pesky Portland attack. 

    Games against New England and Columbus in the next two weeks will give Edu two more chances to catch the eye of Jurgen Klinsmann in the defensive midfield before the Mexico friendly. 

12. Osvaldo Alonso

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    Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

    For the Sounders to succeed this season, they will need Osvaldo Alonso to be in the form of his life in the holding midfield position. 

    The Cuban midfield ace did pick up a yellow card in the 45th minute of the home opener at CenturyLink Field, but that has to be expected in a match where Aurelien Collin lines up against one of the most physical players in the league. 

    Alonso also started the move on the late winner by Chad Barrett as Seattle earned yet another win at the death over Sporting. 

11. Mauro Diaz

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    Mauro Diaz uncorked this free-kick in the 46th minute to hand FC Dallas a two-goal advantage at the beginning of the second half. 

    The 23-year-old delivered a strong 88 minutes on the pitch in the victory as he also made two key passes.

    If Diaz, Castillo and Blas Perez continue to link up like they did on Saturday, FC Dallas' attack could become one of the best in the league. 

10. Sebastian Fernandez

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    Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Spor

    The Vancouver loanee had an impressive debut in front of the home fans at BC Place as the Whitecaps began to forget about Camilo. 

    Sebastian Fernandez contributed his first goal in a Whitecaps jersey in the 49th minute of the 4-1 thumping that the club laid on Supporters' Shield holders, New York. 

    Both of Fernandez's shots were on target and he had an 87 percent pass accuracy during 73 minutes of play. 

9. Cristian Maidana

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    David Manning-USA TODAY Sports

    Cristian Maidana made the Philadelphia midfield come alive in the team's 1-1 draw at Providence Park with Portland. 

    Maidana was all over the place as he found himself in plenty of open spaces thanks to his terrific runs. 

    The 27-year-old designated player had a superb 80 minutes on the pitch and there is no doubt that his presence will make the Union midfield one to watch all year long. 

8. Federico Higuain

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    Paul Frederiksen-USA TODAY Sport

    In case you missed it, Federico Higuain got off to a great start with two goals in Columbus' road domination at RFK Stadium on Saturday.

    Higuain netted from the spot in the 27th minute after a questionable penalty was earned by Michael Parkhurst. 

    The Argentinian also struck the back of the net in the 90th minute for an insurance goal against a D.C. side that was all out of sorts. 

7. Michael Parkhurst

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    Nick Wass/Associated Press

    One of the main reasons why D.C. was so out of it on Saturday was the defensive play of Parkhurst at center-back. 

    Parkhurst, who was placed at the position by manager Gregg Berhalter in preseason, showed plenty of strength in defending his international teammate Eddie Johnson.

    The 30-year-old is a natural right-back and he could make the United States World Cup roster because of his play in the middle of defense. 

6. Joao Plata

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    Joao Plata didn't have to wait until May this season to record his first goal for Real Salt Lake. 

    The Ecuadorian netted the game-winner for the Claret and Cobalt just minutes after they were controversially denied an opening goal from Luke Mulholland. 

    Before his goal, Plata had three shots on target and three key passes as he kept searching for an opening in Jaime Penedo's armor. 

    Plata is currently the league leader in shots on goal with four. 

5. Boniek Garcia

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    Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

    Boniek Garcia showed us on Saturday night why he is a near lock to make the Honduras World Cup squad. 

    Garcia combined superbly with Will Bruin and Giles Barnes up front in the Dynamo's 4-0 pummeling of New England. 

    The 29-year-old was rewarded for his efforts with an assist from Bruin to set up his goal in the 23rd minute. 

4. Mauro Rosales

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    The offseason acquisition of Mauro Rosales seemed to work quite well for Chivas USA on Sunday. 

    The former Seattle midfielder delivered assists on two of the three Chivas goals in the club's 3-2 win over Chicago at the StubHub Center. 

    Rosales was responsible for the 88th-minute game-winner by Bobby Burling as his corner found the defender, who then proceeded to win the first game of the season for the hosts. 

3. Nick Rimando

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    Reed Saxon/Associated Press

    Nick Rimando handed us the marquee moment of the opening weekend with his save of Robbie Keane in the waning minutes of Saturday's game at the StubHub Center. 

    Rimando made a league-high nine saves as the Galaxy pounded shots in for the entire 90 minutes of the 1-0 RSL win. 

    With his first outing of 2014, Rimando solidified his presence on the United States World Cup roster as the third keeper behind Tim Howard and Brad Guzan. 

2. Kenny Miller

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    Kenny Miller scored one-fourth of his 2013 goal total in one game on Saturday.

    The Scot opened his 2014 campaign with two goals against a New York defense that was without Jamison Olave. 

    Miller's strikes in the 34th and 77th minutes put him atop the Golden Boot standings along with Higuain and Bruin after one week. 

1. Will Bruin

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    Bruin was dominant and commanding in the final third for Houston on Saturday night with two goals and an assist. 

    The Dynamo forward recorded those statistics in a span of 23 minutes to open the game as his team thoroughly outplayed the visitors from New England. 

    Now, the pressure will be on Bruin to keep his goalscoring pace up for a Dynamo team that should once again be in the mix for the Eastern Conference playoffs.

     

     

    All statistics obtained from WhoScored.com and MLSSoccer.com

    Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90. 

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