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MLS Player Power Rankings: Plata, Morales, Defoe Surge Up Chart

Joe TanseyFeatured ColumnistMarch 18, 2014

MLS Player Power Rankings: Plata, Morales, Defoe Surge Up Chart

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    Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

    Week 2 of play in Major League Soccer may be in the books, but we are not done recapping it just yet. 

    The newest edition of the MLS player power rankings see seven debutantes, including a few players who played big roles in their team's first game of the season.

    Looking beyond the first-timers on the list, there are a few standout performers from the best team in the league that solidified their spots in the list of the league's 20 best players.

    Continue reading to see who snagged the No. 1 spot this week in the MLS player power rankings. 

On the Way out

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    John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

    Seven players from our Week 1 rankings failed to stay in the MLS player power rankings for a second consecutive week. 

    Players Out of Rankings: 

    Sebastian Fernandez (Vancouver, Last Week's Ranking: 10)

    Mauro Diaz (FC Dallas; 11)

    Justin Mapp (Montreal; 14)

    Aaron Maund (Real Salt Lake; 17)

    Chad Marshall (Seattle; 18)

    Dom Dwyer (Sporting KC; 19)

    Fabian Castillo (FC Dallas; 20)

20. Chris Seitz

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    Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

    Week 1 Ranking: 16 

    Chris Seitz was once again very active in the FC Dallas net during Week 2 as he made five saves in his club's 1-1 draw with Sporting Kansas City. 

    Seitz also let in one less goal than he did in the first week of the season against Montreal. 

    The American keeper currently sits tied for second with Luis Robles with 11 saves, a total that is five shy of the league lead held by Nick Rimando. 

19. Kofi Sarkodie

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    Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

    Week 1 Ranking: Not Ranked

    Kofi Sarkodie is one of seven new entrants to the rankings this week and he is the first of five Houston players on this list. 

    Sarkodie turned in a solid performance for the second consecutive week for the Dynamo at right-back as he had 61 touches of the ball and three aerial duels won. 

    The 22-year-old is a part of a back four that has not conceded a goal in the first 180 minutes of play. 

18. Michael Bradley

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    Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

    Week 1 Ranking: Not Ranked 

    Michael Bradley did exactly what we thought he would do for the Toronto midfield in its 2-1 win over Seattle on Saturday. 

    The reason for the United States international being so low on this list is because he delivered an outing on the pitch that was expected of him.

    Once Bradley takes his game to the next level in MLS, he will be up in the top 10 on a consistent basis. 

17. Thierry Henry

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    Julio Cortez/Associated Press

    Week 1 Ranking: Not Ranked 

    After suffering from a case of "turfitis" in Week 1, Thierry Henry was out on the grass at Red Bull Arena for his team's home opener. 

    Henry scored New York's lone goal in the 57th minute in the 1-1 draw with Colorado. 

    The decorated Frenchman also recorded the only two shots on goal for the defending Supporters' Shield champion.

16. Osvaldo Alonso

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    Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

    Week 1 Ranking: 12

    Osvaldo Alonso did drop a few spots this week, but that is because of the terrific debuts of others and not due to his poor play.

    Alonso continued his consistency this season in the middle of the park for the Sounders as he had a pass accuracy of 88 percent, while making 125 touches. 

    The biggest eye-popping stat from Alonso's game against Toronto is his 100 passes. 

    Although he did put up some solid numbers on Saturday, he also picked up his second yellow of the season in the 70th minute. 

15. Cristian Maidana

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    John Geliebter-USA TODAY Sports

    Week 1 Ranking: 9

    In his home debut, Maidana once again played a key role in the Philadelphia midfield. 

    While he did play well, the Argentinian was overshadowed by last-minute starter Leo Fernandes, who delivered an assist on the lone Union goal at PPL Park. 

    For someone who has been thrown into the fire during the first two weeks, Maidana has done quite well for Philadelphia. 

14. Federico Higuain

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    Paul Frederiksen-USA TODAY Sport

    Week 1 Ranking: 8

    Federico Higuain and the Crew had the week off, but his two-goal performance against D.C. did not leave our memory completely. 

    The weekend was not a totally dormant one for the Higuain clan as younger brother Gonzalo netted for Napoli on Monday in a 1-0 win over Torino. 

13. Michael Parkhurst

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    Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

    Week 1 Ranking: 7

    Parkhurst's first performance in a Crew jersey was also enough to keep him around for another week.

    The United States international did drop six spots because of some debutantes, but he could be back in the top 10 with a good game against Philadelphia on Saturday. 

12. David Horst

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    Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

    Week 1 Ranking: 15

    The first two weeks in Dynamo orange could not have started any better for David Horst, who helped Houston earn its second consecutive home clean sheet on Saturday.

    Horst seems to be gelling well with center-back partner Jermaine Taylor in front of keeper Tally Hall and that chemistry has helped the Dynamo a ton. 

    After a week off, Horst and his defensive mates will take their show to Vancouver on March 29. 

11. Jermaine Taylor

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    Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

    Week 1 Ranking: Not Ranked

    The other half of the Houston center-back partnership performed even better than Horst did in the win over Montreal at BBVA Compass Stadium.

    Jermaine Taylor produced 10 effective clearances and recorded a slightly better pass accuracy out of the back four than Horst put up. 

    If Taylor, Horst, Sarkodie and left-back Corey Ashe keep up the good work, Houston could be unbeaten for quite some time. 

10. Kenny Miller

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    Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

    Week 1 Ranking: 2

    Kenny Miller was not as visible in attack against Chivas USA on Sunday than he was at home against New York in Week 1. 

    Miller failed to fire a single shot and touched the ball just 42 times as Darren Mattocks and Kekuta Manneh shined brighter in the Vancouver attack. 

    The veteran of the Vancouver strike force did make two key passes, but that stat will be easily forgotten, just like his day on the pitch at the StubHub Center. 

9. Nick Rimando

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    Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press

    Week 1 Ranking: 3

    It's very difficult for a goalkeeper in a league with a ton of parity to stay relevant in the discussion of who performed the best week after week. 

    Despite conceding three goals, Nick Rimando still made seven saves against a San Jose attack that was hungry for an equalizer that it didn't get until second-half stoppage time.

    After two weeks, Rimando leads the league in saves with 16. 

8. Boniek Garcia

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    Smiley N. Pool/Associated Press

    Week 1 Ranking: 5

    Boniek Garcia was once again up to his midfield magic for Houston on Saturday night. 

    The Honduran got off two shots and earned a pass accuracy of 83 percent for a Houston team that looks like it is already in midseason form. 

    With Garcia given room to roam in the midfield this season, with Brad Davis and Andrew Driver on the wings, the Dynamo attack looks more fluid than it did in 2013. 

7. Maurice Edu

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    Don Ryan/Associated Press

    Week 1 Ranking: 13

    Without defensive midfield partner Brian Carroll in the starting 11 because of flu-like symptoms, Maurice Edu took charge of the middle of the pitch for Philadelphia in its 1-0 win over New England. 

    Not only did Edu hold his position well, but he also did all of the little things right as he fought for possession all over the pitch in Saturday's victory. 

    Edu also contributed a bit on the offensive end with a shot on target and a key pass.

6. Victor Bernardez

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    Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press

    Week 1 Ranking: Not Ranked

    San Jose defender Victor Bernardez brought his team back from the depths of defeat on Saturday night with two goals in the final 15 minutes of the 3-3 draw with Real Salt Lake.

    Bernardez kept the "Goonies Never Say Die" mentality alive with a header from a Shea Salinas corner in the 75th minute, before a stoppage-time strike in which he cleaned up a mess in the penalty area to beat Rimando. 

    The center-back also recorded an assist on Chris Wondolowski's opening goal in the sixth minute. 

5. Shea Salinas

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    Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

    Week 1 Ranking: Not Ranked

    Shea Salinas was another San Jose player that was lively in attack all night as the comeback was mounted at Buck Shaw Stadium. 

    Salinas played the role of provider on the first two San Jose goals, both of which came off set pieces. 

    The 27-year-old has always been an underrated part of the Earthquakes' midfield and hopefully 2014 is the year he receives more recognition for his play. 

4. Jermain Defoe

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    Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

    Week 1 Ranking: Not Ranked

    Jermain Defoe's introduction to the MLS audience could not have gone any better as he scored twice in Toronto's win in Seattle. 

    Defoe, who is pushing for a spot on the England World Cup roster, found the back of the net twice in a span of seven minutes as the Reds overwhelmed Seattle in the first half.

    The forward now has an opportunity to impress the home fans at BMO Field on Saturday against a D.C. United side that looked poor in Week 1. 

3. Mauro Rosales

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    Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

    Week 1 Ranking: 4

    Mauro Rosales climbs up a spot in this week's rankings thanks to his impressive play in a Chivas USA team that he has brought back to life. 

    The 33-year-old offseason acquisition from Seattle recorded his league-high third assist for a 10-man Chivas side with Erick Torres' 45th-minute opener. 

    The presence of a league veteran like Rosales in the Chivas midfield could propel them into the Western Conference playoff race. 

2. Joao Plata

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    Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

    Week 1 Ranking: 6

    Joao Plata may be the most impressive player in MLS so far this season.

    The young Ecuadorian has sent in a league-high seven shots on goal while playing alongside an established forward in Alvaro Saborio. 

    Plata recorded a goal for the second consecutive week and he also delivered an assist on Kyle Beckerman's 11th-minute goal. 

1. Will Bruin

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    Andrew Richardson-USA TODAY Spor

    Week 1 Ranking: 1

    The only thing keeping Plata out of the top spot this weekend was a third goal by Will Bruin in the young season.

    Bruin scored the only Houston goal against Montreal on Saturday night, and in the process, he took the early outright lead for the Golden Boot. 

    The top spot may not belong to Bruin next week because of a bye week, but he could easily be back on top in two weeks if he shines at BC Place versus Vancouver. 

     

    Joe Tansey covers MLS for Bleacher Report, you can follow him on Twitter, @JTansey90.

    All statistics obtained from MLSSoccer.com and WhoScored.com.

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