MLS Player Power Rankings: Dempsey Highlights List Full of League Stars

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistApril 15, 2014

MLS Player Power Rankings: Dempsey Highlights List Full of League Stars

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    Six weeks into the Major League Soccer season, the stars are beginning to come out in full force and give us plenty to talk about. 

    While the likes of Robbie Keane, Federico Higuain, Mauro Diaz and Chris Wondolowski are playing well for their respective clubs, one player is outplaying all of them at the moment. 

    Clint Dempsey has been on fire in the last two weeks for Seattle, as he continues to prove his critics wrong. 

    Thanks to his Week 5 showing against Portland, Dempsey skyrocketed to No. 2 in the MLS Player Power Rankings. 

    After Week 6, the only question we are left asking about Dempsey is whether or not he knocked Diaz off the top spot.

    Continue reading to see if Dempsey climbed up to the top spot in the Week 6 edition of the MLS Player Power Rankings.

On the Way Out

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    Seven players exited the rankings this week for a plethora of reasons. 

    Two players were left off the list because they did not play, while the other five were removed because of their performance on the pitch.


    Players Who Dropped Out of Rankings: 

    Je-Vaughn Watson (FC Dallas; Week 5 Ranking: 9)

    Jeff Attinella (Real Salt Lake; 10)

    Jermain Defoe (Toronto FC; 14)

    Nat Borchers (Real Salt Lake; 16)

    Chris Schuler (Real Salt Lake; 17)

    Alvaro Saborio (Real Salt Lake; 19)

    Vicente Sanchez (Colorado; 20)

20. Diego Chara

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    Week 5 Ranking: 8

    Diego Chara was not the best player on the pitch for Portland on Saturday, but he still put in a decent showing in the 1-1 draw with Chivas USA. 

    The Colombian, who scored twice in Week 5 against Seattle, made 56 touches and completed 73 percent of his 41 passes in the tie at Providence Park.

19. Harrison Shipp

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    Week 5 Ranking: 18

    In 75 minutes of play against Montreal, Harrison Shipp linked up well with the forward combination of Mike Magee and Quincy Amarikwa. 

    Shipp was one of three Chicago players to deliver three or more key passes in an attack that fired off 17 shots, five of which were on target, against the Impact.

18, Jose Goncalves

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    Week 5 Ranking: 12

    Before leaving the match with Houston on Saturday because of what is being called a right-quad injury, Jose Goncalves made two key tackles, two key interceptions and one effective clearance. 

    No further word has been passed along about the imposing center-back, who was taken down by Ricardo Clark late in the first half.

17. Will Johnson

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    Week 5 Ranking: not ranked 

    Will Johnson was everywhere for Portland on Saturday night, and it was a shame he left the pitch with only one goal.

    Johnson scored in the seventh minute after he charged down the middle of the pitch to receive a pass from Darlington Nagbe that ended up in the back of the net. 

    The Canadian, who got off five shots during the 1-1 draw with Chivas USA, also hit the post in the 92nd minute with a free-kick, a chance that he probably wishes he would've converted on, given Portland's continued search for its first win.

16. Andrew Farrell

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    Week 5 Ranking: not ranked

    In the Revolution's 2-0 win over Houston, Andrew Farrell began at right-back and finished at center-back because of the injury to Goncalves.

    At both spots in the back four, the 22-year-old delivered a strong showing for a New England team that has turned the corner after its terrible start. 

    The No. 1 overall pick in the 2013 MLS SuperDraft shut down the Dynamo attack with two key tackles, two key interceptions and a blocked shot.

15. Chris Rolfe

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    Week 5 Ranking: not ranked

    Just two weeks ago, Chris Rolfe was searching for playing time in the Chicago line-up.

    Now, he is the main fulcrum of the D.C. United midfield after two games in black and red. 

    Rolfe has stabilized the United midfield, and in the process, he has turned the team into a potential contender for a playoff berth.

    In the two games Rolfe has played for D.C., it has won by a combined score of 3-0 over Eastern Conference rivals New England and New York.

14. Quincy Amarikwa

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    Week 5 Ranking: not ranked 

    Quincy Amarikwa is benefiting the most from the offseason managerial change in Chicago.

    Under new manager Frank Yallop, Amarikwa has played in all six games and scored on three occasions, including in the 54th minute against Montreal. 

    Last season under Frank Klopas, Amarikwa scored three times in 14 matches, none of which he started in.

13. Graham Zusi

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    Week 5 Ranking: 14

    After starring against Colorado and Real Salt Lake, Graham Zusi had a week off to rest himself, as did the rest of the Sporting Kansas City squad. 

    The United States international, who has one goal and two assists in his last two matches, will get back to the pitch against Montreal on Saturday.

12. Chris Wondolowski

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    Week 5 Ranking: not ranked 

    For the first time this season, Chris Wondolowski has made his way on to the list of the best players in MLS.

    His debut, which was long overdue, comes after he scored the lone San Jose goal in the club's 1-1 draw with Columbus. 

    The 51st-minute strike was the third goal in four games for the player in search of a spot on the United States' plane to Brazil.

11. Javier Morales

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    Week 5 Ranking: not ranked

    A week after being knocked out of the player power rankings, Javier Morales returns with a bang after his Week 6 performance.

    The Real Salt Lake midfielder was all over the place against Philadelphia, as he searched to create a goal-scoring opportunity.

    He finally got what he was looking for in the 85th minute, when he capitalized on a mistake by Austin Berry and found a wide-open Kyle Beckerman for RSL's second goal of the 2-2 draw.

10. Robbie Keane

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    Week 5 Ranking: not ranked

    Robbie Keane's 2014 form has been a continuation of the terrific 2013 season that saw the Irishman score 16 league goals. 

    Keane has found the back of the net in each of L.A.'s last three matches, a streak that was continued by his 47th-minute goal against Vancouver.

    The 33-year-old designated player also made two key passes on his way to a pass accuracy of 85 percent in the Galaxy's 1-0 home victory.

9. Pedro Morales

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    Week 5 Ranking: 4

    Compared to his play during the first five weeks of the season, Pedro Morales' showing in Week 6 against L.A. was a tad disappointing.

    The Chilean played just 70 minutes in the loss for the Whitecaps,  but he did fire away two shots and deliver one key pass.

    Based off of his other five matches of 2014, Morales should bounce back with another strong performance at home in Week 7, as Vancouver looks to avenge its loss on Saturday against L.A.

8. Michael Bradley

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    Week 5 Ranking: 

    Michael Bradley did not suit up for Toronto FC this weekend because of a left-quadriceps strain, per the MLS injury report. 

    Despite not playing in the Reds' 1-0 loss to Colorado, Bradley has still done plenty of good work on the pitch in his first four games to keep a high ranking after Week 6.

7. Maurice Edu

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    Week 5 Ranking: 13

    After four weeks of yeoman's work in the midfield, Maurice Edu's name has begun to show up on the score sheet for the Union over the last two weeks.

    In Week 6, Edu scored a 90th-minute equalizer to hand Philadelphia a point against Real Salt Lake at home.

    The headed goal was the second of the season for the United States international, who scored against Chicago in Week 5.

6. Erick Torres

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    Week 5 Ranking: 11

    Erick Torres attempted to keep up with Clint Dempsey in the Golden Boot race with a 79th-minute strike for Chivas USA on Saturday. 

    Torres, who has scored in five of his first six games, remains one goal off of the pace set by Dempsey in recent weeks in the race to be the league's top scorer. 

    Torres will get a chance to take over Dempsey's top spot in person when the two meet on Saturday at the StubHub Center.

5. Jose Mari

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    Week 5 Ranking: 5

    Jose Mari may have not scored any eye-popping goals in Week 6, but he delivered an impressive showing in the defensive midfield for Colorado. 

    Mari made a game-high 96 touches in the third win of the season for the Rapids, and he made four key tackles, two key interceptions and six effective clearances.

4. Osvaldo Alonso

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    Week 5 Ranking: 7

    While Dempsey was a menacing force in the attack for Seattle against FC Dallas, Osvaldo Alonso was putting in another steady performance in the center of midfield. 

    Alonso was the most active player on the pitch for the Sounders with 73 touches, and he was incredibly accurate in the passing department, as he completed 92 percent of his 48 passes. 

    Alonso, who has formed a formidable midfield partnership with Gonzalo Pineda, also made six key tackles in the 3-2 victory.

3. Mauro Diaz

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    Week 5 Ranking: 1

    Mauro Diaz was another player who took a backseat to the Dempsey show at Toyota Stadium on Saturday night. 

    Diaz was one of the best players for FC Dallas in its first loss of the season with five key passes and a shot on target.

    The 23-year-old midfielder also completed 80 percent of his 49 passes, as he searched for a way to outduel Dempsey in the attacking department.

2. Federico Higuain

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    Week 5 Ranking: 6

    Federico Higuain helped the Crew earn a point out west at Buck Shaw Stadium on Sunday because of an all-around offensive performance. 

    Higuain finished off a fantastic passing sequence by his teammates in the 44th minute for his fourth goal of the season. 

    The Argentinian also made four key passes and fired in six shots, two of which were on target.

1. Clint Dempsey

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    Week 5 Ranking: 

    The only player deserving of the top spot this week was Dempsey. 

    The United States international was credited with two goals, but he played a part in all three scores by the Sounders. 

    Dempsey's goals were not of the simple variety, as he scored on a free-kick in the 22nd minute, before he played a give-and-go with Chad Barrett for the game-winner in the 85th minute. 

    Dempsey also forced an own goal in the 75th minute, when his cross deflected off of Stephen Keel and past FC Dallas keeper Chris Seitz.



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