MLS Player Power Rankings: Dempsey, Bradley Rise Near Top After Week 5

Joe TanseyFeatured ColumnistApril 8, 2014

MLS Player Power Rankings: Dempsey, Bradley Rise Near Top After Week 5

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    Steve Dykes/Getty Images

    Week 5 of play in Major League Soccer produced the third-highest goal total on a single day with 28. 

    Thanks to the offensive outburst, plenty of players soared up the latest MLS player power rankings. 

    Four of the top five players—and six of the top 10after Week 5 played a part in a goal scored by their team this weekend. 

    Continue reading to see which of those players ended up as the best player in the league after five weeks. 

On the Way out

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    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    The highest amount of players to drop out of the rankings in 2014 came this week as eight players fell out of the top 20. 

    Players Dropped out of Rankings: 

    Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake; Week 4 Ranking: 9)

    Will Bruin (Houston; 10)

    Shea Salinas (San Jose; 11)

    Mauro Rosales (Chivas USA; 12)

    Javier Morales (Real Salt Lake; 14)

    Jair Benitez (FC Dallas; 16)

    Gilberto (Toronto FC; 18)

    Aaron Wheeler (Philadelphia; 20)

20. Vicente Sanchez

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    Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

    Week 4 Ranking: 15

    The joint top scorer in MLS was left off the plane to Vancouver because of a case of turfitis. 

    The Colorado playmaker is not the only player who has not appeared on the turf at BC Place this season as Thierry Henry skipped out on New York's season opener because of the same issue. 

19. Alvaro Saborio

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    Rick Bowmer

    Week 4 Ranking: 17 

    A week after slotting two goals, Alvaro Saborio was fairly quiet in Real Salt Lake's MLS Cup rematch against Sporting Kansas City. 

    It wasn't just Saborio that had a rough Saturday night at Sporting Park, since the entire team mustered just one shot on goal. 

18. Harrison Shipp

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    Week 4 Ranking: 

    Chicago did score on two occasions against Philadelphia, but Harrison Shipp was not a part of either strike. 

    Shipp, who had an assist in each of the two previous games for the Fire, was replaced in the 57th minute by Dilly Duka and had just 40 touches during his time on the pitch. 

17. Chris Schuler

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    Ed Zurga/Getty Images

    Week 4 Ranking: Not Ranked

    The Real Salt Lake offense may not have had a strong day on Saturday, but the back four of the Claret and Cobalt did. 

    Center-back Chris Schuler was a force alongside Nat Borchers in the middle of defense as he made five key interceptions and nine effective clearances. 

    Schuler also fired in two shots but neither were on target. 

16. Nat Borchers

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    Orlin Wagner

    Week 4 Ranking: Not Ranked

    Borchers did a hair better than Schuler at center-back for Jeff Cassar's club by making 12 effective clearances and blocking two shots. 

    The duo of Borchers and Schuler have conceded just once in 270 minutes of play together in 2014 for a team that is expected to be up high in the Western Conference standings all season long.

15. Graham Zusi

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    Orlin Wagner

    Week 4 Ranking: 19 

    Graham Zusi continued to slowly climb up the chart this week thanks to his offensive output for Sporting Kansas City. 

    The only statistic line that was left empty by Zusi when the final whistle blew was the goal and assist column.

    Looking beyond those two goose eggs, Zusi put two shots on target and had four key passes. 

14. Jermain Defoe

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    Ted S. Warren

    Week 4 Ranking: 6

    Jermain Defoe did not play for Toronto in Week 5, but he did gain a boost to his World Cup chances thanks to the injury suffered by Southampton's Jay Rodriguez on Saturday.

    If Defoe can stay healthy, and continue to benefit from playing alongside Michael Bradley and Gilberto, he just may have a shot at one of the final England roster spots. 

13. Maurice Edu

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    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    Week 4 Ranking: 13

    Maurice Edu had a solid week at both the club and international level. 

    On Wednesday, Edu appeared as a substitute for the United States against Mexico, and then on Saturday, he scored his first goal of the season for the Union. 

    Edu's 32nd-minute equalizer was the first of two goals that were scored during a seven-minute span in the first half for Philadelphia. 

12. Jose Goncalves

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    Orlin Wagner

    Week 4 Ranking: 7

    After two superb outings at center-back for New England, Jose Goncalves had a rare bad week against D.C. 

    Goncalves was credited with an own goal in the 43rd minute, and he had the most touches of any Revolution player with 84, a statistic that shows that New England could not grab an attacking foothold in the 2-0 loss. 

    He did have eight effective clearances, two key tackles and two key interceptions, but those numbers will be forgotten because of the own goal and the loss. 

11. Erick Torres

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    Alex Gallardo

    Week 4 Ranking: 3

    Sunday's SuperClasico marked the first match that Erick Torres failed to score in this season.

    Torres had scored four goals in four consecutive games in March, but he and his Chivas USA teammates ran into the Galaxy, who have caused the Goats plenty of trouble in recent years. 

10. Jeff Attinella

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    Orlin Wagner

    Week 4 Ranking: Not Ranked

    Jeff Attinella was a handed a massive task on Saturday night as he stepped in to fill the goalkeeping void left open by the injured Nick Rimando.

    Attinella was nothing short of stellar as he made eight saves in RSL's 0-0 draw with Sporting Kansas City. 

    He may not last another week or two on this list, but he is more than deserving of his spot after Week 5. 

9. Je-Vaughn Watson

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    Tony Gutierrez

    Week 4 Ranking: Not Ranked 

    Je-Vaughn Watson's first start against his former club could not have been scripted any better. 

    Watson struck the back of the net on two occasions in FC Dallas' 4-1 Texas derby win over Houston.

    The Jamaican international, who entered the 2013 Texas derby clash as a substitute, scored in the 61st and 70th minutes in a match that was tilted in FC Dallas' favor after a David Horst red card. 

8. Diego Chara

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    Steve Dykes/Getty Images

    Week 4 Ranking: Not Ranked 

    Diego Chara celebrated his birthday in style on Saturday with two goals in the Cascadia Cup match against Seattle. 

    However, Chara did not finish off his stellar day with a win because of the late Seattle theatrics provided by Clint Dempsey.

    The goals marked the first time since September 16, 2011 that the Colombian found his name on the score sheet. 

7. Osvaldo Alonso

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    Steve Dykes/Getty Images

    Week 4 Ranking: 4

    Amid all the goalscoring chaos in Portland, Osvaldo Alonso turned in yet another respectable showing in the center of midfield for the Sounders. 

    Alonso completed 92 percent of his 50 passes, while making four key tackles.

    The Seattle midfielder also had 60 touches, a total that was 18 less than the number recorded by his fellow central midfielder, Gonzalo Pineda.

6. Federico Higuain

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    Nick Wass

    Week 4 Ranking: 1

    Last week's top player could not help Columbus overcome a spirited Toronto side that won 2-0 at Crew Stadium. 

    Despite losing the match and failing to score, Federico Higuain did contribute seven key passes and five shots. 

    All five of those shots were off target for the Argentinian, who also had an 87 percent pass accuracy. 

5. Jose Mari

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    Week 4 Ranking: Not Ranked

    Something tells me we'll be seeing Jose Mari's 79th-minute strike on a few end of season highlight reels. 

    Mari unleashed a stunning left-to-right goal past Vancouver keeper David Ousted just two minutes after the Whitecaps went down to 10 men thanks to a Matias Laba red card.

    It took two more minutes for Mari to strike gold again as he beat Ousted from the top of the box in the 81st minute for the game-winning goal. 

4. Pedro Morales

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    Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images

    Week 4 Ranking: 5

    One of the few players that improved on their Week 4 ranking was Pedro Morales, who was all over the place for Vancouver. 

    Morales had a game-high 107 touches and sent all four of his shots on target in the home loss to Colorado. 

    The midfielder also made a game-high 78 passes, three of which were key ones in attack. 

3. Michael Bradley

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    Week 4 Ranking: Not Ranked

    Just days after asserting his will in midfield for the United States, Bradley continued his fantastic form for Toronto. 

    Bradley scored the first goal of the 2-0 win by the Reds in the Trillium Cup showdown with Columbus in the 11th minute from a difficult angle.

    Before he was taken off in the 73rd minute, Bradley had 51 touches and completed 79 percent of his passes in a role that caused him to be even more of a leader than he usually is because of Toronto's injury woes. 

2. Clint Dempsey

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    Don Ryan

    Week 4 Ranking: Not Ranked

    Dempsey delivered a major statement on Saturday with his hat-trick in the biggest match of the season yet for the Sounders. 

    The man they call "Deuce" netted the final three Sounders goals in the intense rivalry showdown. 

    Dempsey took a total of eight shots, five of which were on target, while he recorded an 88 percent pass accuracy. 

    If he continues his form from Saturday into the next few months, Dempsey could be a force to be reckoned with in Brazil. 

1. Mauro Diaz

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    Week 4 Ranking: 2

    Not only has Mauro Diaz been one of the most consistent players in 2014, he has developed into one of the most electric playmakers in all of MLS. 

    Diaz dished out two assists on both of Watson's second-half strikes in a match where he was once again the best player on the pitch. 

    Diaz may have attempted just one shot, but he made up for that with four accurate long balls and two accurate crosses to go along with his pair of assists. 

     

    Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90.

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