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MLS Player Power Rankings: Donovan, Keane, Higuain Fly Up Chart After Week 12

Joe TanseyFeatured Columnist IVOctober 19, 2016

MLS Player Power Rankings: Donovan, Keane, Higuain Fly Up Chart After Week 12

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    USA TODAY Sports

    The Major League Soccer weekend caught a ton of attention for the performance of Landon Donovan, but there were plenty of other players who shined throughout Week 12 as well. 

    One of those players, Federico Higuain, made a convincing case to become the top candidate to overtake Javier Morales at the top of the latest MLS Player Power Rankings. 

    Continue reading to find out who won the battle for the No. 1 spot and where Donovan ended up on the list of the top 20 players in the league.

On the Way Out

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    Six players moved out of the top 20 after Week 12 thanks to inactivity at the club level, injuries and poor showings on the pitch. 

    Players Dropped Out of Rankings: 

    • Clint Dempsey (Seattle, Week 11 Ranking: 8)
    • Alvaro Saborio (Real Salt Lake, 9)
    • Joao Plata (Real Salt Lake, 13)
    • David Horst (Houston, 15)
    • Oriol Rosell (Sporting Kansas City, 18)
    • Mike Magee (Chicago, 20)

20. Jon Busch

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    Week 11 Ranking: Not Ranked 

    Thanks to his strong showings in the San Jose net over the last two weeks, Jon Busch becomes just the fourth goalkeeper to crack the top 20 all season. The other three were Nick Rimando, Chris Seitz and Jeff Attinella. 

    Busch made six saves in Sunday night's 3-0 home win over the Dynamo, a result that marked the fourth clean sheet of the season for the 37-year-old.

19. Dillon Powers

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    Week 11 Ranking: Not Ranked 

    One of the few players to score twice this week was Dillon Powers, who netted in the fifth and 84th minutes in Colorado's 4-1 thumping of Montreal. 

    In between his first two goals of the season, Powers made three key passes and completed 87 percent of his passes for a Rapids side that has quietly climbed up to third in the Western Conference standings.

18. Bradley Orr

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    Week 11 Ranking: Not Ranked

    Bradley Orr continued to relish his new role in the center of the park for Toronto FC against Sporting KC on Friday night.

    Orr, who has filled in for Michael Bradley in the center midfield position, nodded in a late equalizer to earn an important road point for the Reds at Sporting Park. 

    Since filling in the void left by the United States international, Orr has a goal and an assist in his last two games.

17. Gershon Koffie

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    Week 11 Ranking: Not Ranked 

    One of the best midfield performances of the weekend came from Vancouver's Gershon Koffie. 

    In the defensive midfield role for the Whitecaps, Koffie made eight tackles, a number that was two short of the season high set by his teammate, Matias Laba, two weeks ago. 

    Koffie also took advantage of a defensive mishap by Seattle keeper Stefan Frei to score in the 66th minute.

16. Andrew Farrell

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    Week 11 Ranking: 10 

    Andrew Farrell's stint at center back ended on Saturday night with the return of Jose Goncalves to the Revolution lineup.

    In his return to right back, Farrell made just four effective clearances, but he did record a team high in touches with 65.

15. Fabian Espindola

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    Week 11 Ranking: Not Ranked

    Fabian Espindola's ascent up the Golden Boot standings continued in Week 12, as he scored one goal in each of D.C. United's two contests. 

    Espindola put home his fifth goal of the season in the 63rd minute against Houston, and he came off the bench to score in the 73rd minute in the loss to New England. 

    The former Real Salt Lake and New York player now has six goals in 997 minutes this season for the Black and Red.

14. Chris Tierney

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    Week 11 Ranking: 14

    Chris Tierney held steady at No. 14 this week after a strong defensive outing in New England's home win over D.C.

    The left back had five effective clearances and four interceptions to follow up his impressive offensive game against Philadelphia a week ago, where he had a goal and an assist.

13. Erick Torres

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    Week 11 Ranking: 12 

    Thanks to a week off for Chivas USA, Erick Torres fell behind the co-leaders in the Golden Boot race by another goal.

    The forward, who has scored eight times this season, will look to continue his strong start on Wednesday against the Portland Timbers.

12. Osvaldo Alonso

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    Week 11 Ranking: 7

    Osvaldo Alonso was consistent in the midfield for Seattle on Saturday night, but he could not help lead the Sounders to their first Cascadia Cup victory of the season.

    In the 2-2 draw with the Whitecaps, Alonso completed 92 percent of his passes, and he made five tackles and two interceptions against an active and young Vancouver attack.

11. Lee Nguyen

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    Week 11 Ranking: 

    Lee Nguyen may not have forced a single shot on target against D.C., but he did make four key passes in the 2-1 victory. 

    In his 11 games this season, Nguyen has averaged 1.9 key passes for the Eastern Conference leaders.

10. Diego Fagundez

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    Week 11 Ranking: 19

    After a slow start to his 2014 campaign, Diego Fagundez is rounding into form quite well for the Revolution. 

    The 19-year-old scored for the third consecutive week to bring his season total up to four, a number he has recorded over the last three weeks. 

    In his last three games, Fagundez has taken 12 shots, six of which have been on target, and recorded two assists.

9. Patrick Mullins

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    Week 11 Ranking: 16

    Eight teams passed on Patrick Mullins in the 2014 MLS SuperDraft, and he is making all of them look foolish for not taking him. 

    The 11th overall pick in January's draft has scored a goal in each of his last four games for a Revolution side that is on fire at the moment. 

    To go along with his 55th-minute strike in the win over D.C., Mullins had four shots and one key pass.

8. Harry Shipp

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    Week 11 Ranking: 5

    Compared to his past few weeks of play, Harry Shipp's numbers against Columbus were pretty pedestrian. 

    Shipp took three shots in the 2-0 loss by the Fire, but he failed to put any of them on target. 

    He also put together a casual pass accuracy of 83 percent, while he made just 60 touches.

7. Obafemi Martins

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    Week 11 Ranking: 

    Obafemi Martins did not contribute much to the Seattle cause on Saturday at BC Place. 

    However, the Nigerian forward did not lose his lead in the assist race despite his average showing and the stellar ones by others such as Higuain. 

    Martins will look to extend his assist total past six when Seattle faces Real Salt Lake at home on Saturday.

6. Bradley Wright-Phillips

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    Week 11 Ranking: 4

    Bradley Wright-Phillips became the second Englishman to reach the 10-goal mark in 2014 with his 36th-minute penalty against Portland.

    Wright-Phillips also had a magnificent chance to score a second goal late in the match, but he was denied by Portland keeper Donovan Ricketts. 

    In the 2-1 loss, the New York forward also completed 91 percent of his passes.

5. Landon Donovan

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Week 11 Ranking: Not Ranked

    Landon Donovan proved to Jurgen Klinsmann that he still has plenty left in the tank with his two-goal performance on Sunday against Philadelphia.

    Donovan started his day with an assist in the second minute, when his free kick found the head of Leonardo, and then he scored twice in the second half to break the MLS regular-season scoring record. 

    The pair of goals were the first two of the season for the Galaxy playmaker, who is expected to score on more than a few occasions during the rest of the season.

4. Robbie Keane

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    Week 11 Ranking: 17

    Donovan may have been the star of the night at the StubHub Center, but Robbie Keane deserves a massive amount of credit as well for his 90 minutes on the pitch. 

    Keane played the role of provider on both of Donovan goals, and he scored his seventh goal of the season in the 64th minute. 

    If he and Donovan can play with the same fire that they did on Sunday throughout the rest of the season, the Galaxy could easily be hoisting the MLS Cup in December.

3. Dom Dwyer

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    Week 11 Ranking: 11

    The first player to reach double digits in the scoring column in 2014 was Dom Dwyer, who netted both of Sporting's goals on Friday night. 

    The 23-year-old Englishman scored his ninth goal of the season in the 47th minute before he struck gold for the 10th time from the spot in the 84th minute. 

    In the month of May, Dwyer has two multigoal games and a total of six goals.

2. Javier Morales

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    Week 11 Ranking: 

    Javier Morales was strong in attack on Saturday against FC Dallas, but he could not lead Real Salt Lake to a goal or a victory at home. 

    In the 0-0 draw, Morales made eight key passes, took three shots and recorded a game-high 103 touches.

1. Federico Higuain

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Week 11 Ranking: 

    Federico Higuain provided his teammates with two terrific assists in the Crew's 2-0 win over Chicago. 

    In the 10th minute, the designated player handed Ethan Finlay a delightful dish, and he provided Jairo Arrieta with another strong pass 15 minutes later on the second Columbus goal. 

    The pair of assists moved the Argentinian's season total to five, a number that is a solid complement to his six goals. 

     

    All statistics obtained from MLSsoccer.com and WhoScored.com

    Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90.

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