MLS

MLS Player Power Rankings After Matches from August 27-31

Joe TanseyFeatured ColumnistSeptember 2, 2014

MLS Player Power Rankings After Matches from August 27-31

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    The month of August belonged to the LA Galaxy, which is why three of the team's stars rank in the top five of the Major League Soccer Player Power Rankings. 

    Bruce Arena's side ended its magnificent August with a 3-0 romp of Chivas USA that put their goal total for the month at 19. 

    The three main reasons for that high-powered attack are Landon Donovan, Robbie Keane and Gyasi Zardes, who have caught the eye of everyone around the league.

    One of those players was able to knock Bradley Wright-Phillips off the top spot of this list for the first time in over two months. 

    Continue reading on to see who took the MLS Player Power Rankings throne away from the Red Bulls forward. 

On the Way out

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    Three players fell out of this week's list. Two players dropped out because of the performances of other stars, while one has not produced like he did earlier in the season.

    Players Dropped out of Rankings: 

    Pedro Morales (Vancouver; Previous Ranking: 11)

    Tesho Akindele (FC Dallas; 19)

    Justin Meram (Columbus; 20) 

20. Lee Nguyen

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    Previous Ranking: Not Ranked

    It comes as no surprise to anyone that New England's solid form of late can be attributed to the play of Lee Nguyen. 

    Nguyen and the Revolution have won three of their last five games, and with Jermaine Jones entering the fold, the 27-year-old midfielder may not have to chase back on defense as much as he has this season. 

    In his last five games, Nguyen has four goals and one assist, including his second-minute strike against Toronto on Saturday. 

19. Brad Davis

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    Previous Ranking: Not Ranked

    The man with the most valuable left foot in the league contributed two assists in Houston's 3-1 conquering of Sporting Kansas City. 

    Brad Davis provided David Horst and Ricardo Clark with assists off set pieces to put his season total up to eight. 

    Six of the midfielder's eight assists in 2014 have come from set pieces, per ESPN's Paul Carr. 

18. Perry Kitchen

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    Previous Ranking: 18

    Perry Kitchen was unable to score for the second straight week, but he did earn an assist on Eddie Johnson's late goal in D.C.'s 2-0 win over New York. 

    Kitchen also helped hold the attacking threat of the Red Bulls to a minimum in the Eastern Conference clash, as Thierry Henry and Bradley Wright-Phillips combined for two shots on target. 

17. Sebastien Le Toux

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    Previous Ranking: 17

    Sebastien Le Toux had the week off to rest his legs for the final two months of the 2014 campaign. 

    Le Toux, who has 11 goals and five assists this season, has a chance to finish in double digits in both categories to emulate his 2010 season with the Union, when he had 14 goals and 11 assists. 

16. Joao Plata

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    Previous Ranking: 16

    Joao Plata had a rare bad game against San Jose with just one shot, which failed to challenge Jon Busch in the Earthquakes net. 

    The Ecuadorian will miss Saturday's clash against FC Dallas because of international duty. 

15. Fabian Espindola

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    Previous Ranking: Not Ranked 

    After missing six games due to injury, Fabian Espindola is getting his Most Valuable Player candidacy kickstarted once again. 

    Espindola set up the first D.C. goal Sunday against the Red Bulls, which moved his season assist total up to nine.

    The veteran forward also has nine goals for the resurgent Black and Red, and if he stays healthy throughout the rest of the season, he could easily receive some MVP votes. 

14. Obafemi Martins

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    Previous Ranking: 14 

    Seattle could not replicate its offensive outburst from last week against Colorado, but the men up front still put in a productive shift. 

    Obafemi Martins fired two shots on goal in the 1-0 victory that kept the Sounders at the top of the Supporters' Shield race for the time being. 

    The next game for Martins will come Wednesday, when he takes on a Chivas USA side that he scored against on April 19. 

13. Chris Wondolowski

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    Previous Ranking: 12 

    For the sixth time in the last seven games, Chris Wondolowski played a part in at least one goal netted by San Jose. 

    Wondolowski, who could easily see his name on the United States roster in October, provided Sam Cronin with an assist on the midfielder's 14th-minute goal in the Earthquakes' 1-1 draw with Real Salt Lake. 

    The Earthquakes will require yet another star showing from the forward on their visit to Providence Park to play Portland on Sunday. 

12. Osvaldo Alonso

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    Previous Ranking: 15

    Osvaldo Alonso owned the midfield at CenturyLink Field Saturday, as he completed 97 percent of his 88 passes and made 96 touches in Seattle's 1-0 win. 

    While those numbers are absurd for a central midfielder, it should be noted that he played against a Colorado side that is in the middle of a downward spiral at the moment. 

    We could see another strong stat line out of Alonso in Wednesday's match at StubHub Center against Chivas USA. 

11. Javier Morales

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    Previous Ranking: 13

    Javier Morales returned to the Real Salt Lake lineup Saturday, and he converted from the spot to level things up with San Jose in the 36th minute. 

    The goal was the first for Morales since August 2 when he found the back of the net against the Rapids. 

    Morales will feel more pressure to provide in attack against FC Dallas in Week 26 with Plata out of the fold playing for Ecuador. 

10. Diego Valeri

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    Previous Ranking: 9

    Just as Diego Valeri's form was starting to slow down, he popped up at BC Place to earn his ninth assist of the season on Alvas Powell's opener against the Whitecaps. 

    In the 3-0 victory over Portland's Cascadia Cup rival, Valeri contributed three key passes and was the most active player on the pitch with 82 touches. 

    In 26 games this season, Valeri is averaging 2.6 key passes per game. 

9. Federico Higuain

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    Previous Ranking: 8

    Despite being shut out by Montreal, Federico Higuain had a productive night in the Columbus midfield. 

    Higuain made a game-high 92 touches and fired five shots, which was his highest total since the July 12 clash with New York. 

    The designated player and his teammates will look to get back on track Sunday against Chivas USA, which conceded a goal to Higuain in last season's opener. 

8. Clint Dempsey

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    Previous Ranking: 10

    Clint Dempsey gave us yet another piece of evidence that he is not human with his 52nd-minute strike against Colorado.

    A week after he left us in awe with an 85-yard run to score, Dempsey made a strong run on a corner that allowed him to leap in the air and pound home his 11th goal of the season. 

    Dempsey also put three shots on target, which was his highest total since the August 2 game against San Jose. 

7. Thierry Henry

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    Previous Ranking: 

    On the surface, it may not seem like Thierry Henry had a great day at RFK Stadium, but he actually did plenty of little things right in the 2-0 loss to D.C. United. 

    Henry made six key passes in the defeat, and he had 26 more touches than his strike partner Bradley Wright-Phillips. 

    However, Henry was not able to fire a shot on target, which dropped his shot efficiency to 33 percent. The Frenchman has taken 66 shots in 2014, 22 of which have been on goal. 

6. Fabian Castillo

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    Previous Ranking: 3

    For the first time since his return from injury at the start of August, we do not have countless superlatives to describe the play of Fabian Castillo.

    Castillo and FC Dallas put up a big fat goose egg on the scoreboard Saturday at Toyota Park, as the 10-game unbeaten run put together by Oscar Pareja's side saw its end. 

    The match marked the first time since May 4 that Castillo failed to put at least one shot on target. 

5. Gyasi Zardes

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    Previous Ranking: 7

    Being the third-most dangerous forward in the Galaxy lineup right now is benefiting Gyasi Zardes greatly. 

    Zardes scored two goals in LA's 3-0 win over Chivas USA to put his season total at 12, which makes him the highest-scoring American in the league for now. 

    To keep that title at the end of the season, Zardes will have to finish off a few more Galaxy attacks with Dempsey behind him by one goal in that contest. 

4. Dom Dwyer

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    Previous Ranking: 

    Dom Dwyer has caught a lot of attention for his goal celebrations this season, and his one Friday night helped ignite the fire at Sporting Park. 

    Dwyer netted a 54th-minute equalizer in a heated affair at Sporting Park, which allowed him to slide on the field and scream in the faces of the Houston substitutes. 

    Earlier in the match, Dwyer picked up a yellow card that will force him out of Wednesday's clash with New England. 

3. Bradley Wright-Phillips

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    Previous Ranking: 1

    After spending eight weeks at the top of this list, Bradley Wright-Phillips has finally let go of his throne. 

    The leading scorer in MLS had a rough day against D.C. United, as he failed to score for the third time in five games. 

    The best chance for Wright-Phillips came in the 31st minute, when he was denied on the line by Bill Hamid. 

2. Landon Donovan

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    Previous Ranking: 4

    It is hard to find an attacking pair anywhere in the world that can match the form of Landon Donovan and Robbie Keane right now. 

    Donovan, whose ride off into the sunset is going quite well, scored once and recorded four assists in two games this week. 

    Thanks to his assist haul against D.C. and Chivas USA, Donovan is now tied for the league lead in assists with his partner-in-crime Keane. 

1. Robbie Keane

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    Previous Ranking: 2

    Robbie Keane may have played just 31 minutes in two games this week, but he still found a way to stand out with a goal and an assist against Chivas USA. 

    Keane scored on an outrageous chip just nine minutes after entering the SuperClasico in the 59th minute, and he provided an assist on the second Zardes goal. 

    In the month of August, Keane scored four goals and recorded six assists for a Galaxy side that is two points behind Seattle in the West. 

     

    Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90

    All statistics obtained from MLSSoccer.com and WhoScored.com

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