MLS Superstar Power Rankings

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistApril 15, 2013

MLS Superstar Power Rankings

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    A full slate of games in Major League Soccer this weekend meant that the league's finest players were on display.

    The crop of designated players out on the pitches of North America grew this week, as Landon Donovan was finally able to play his first full game of the season after missing the first month of the season due to his self-induced sabbatical. 

    Other stars who shined bright in MLS this weekend included Thierry Henry and Marco Di Vaio.

    Find out where those trio of stars rank in this week's edition of the MLS superstar power rankings. 

Criteria

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    For a player to be considered for this list, he must be a designated player in MLS. Here is the entire list of players, ranging from Thierry Henry to Jose Kleberson (via MLSSoccer.com).

    The criteria for the designated players to make this list includes their performance in the week's action combined with their overall season performance. The performance by the designated player in the current week does weigh more on this list. 

    With MLS returning to a full slate of games this weekend, only Sporting Kansas City and their designated player Claudio Bieler were absent from the pitches of North America. 

    The only other designated players who did not play this weekend were out due to injury. Here is the complete injury list from MLSSoccer.com.

10. Chris Wondolowski: San Jose Earthquakes

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    Last Week's Ranking: 2

    Chris Wondolowski had quite the frustrating night in Portland on Sunday.

    Wondo was finally reunited with Alan Gordon and Steven Lenhart, but with the other two Bash Brothers in the lineup, last season's leading scorer was forced out to the wing. 

    Even after both forwards departed the field of play, Wondolowski still failed to make an impact in the San Jose Earthquakes' 1-0 loss to the Timbers. 

9. Javier Morales: Real Salt Lake

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    Last Week's Ranking: 10

    Javier Morales may not have been the player who scored for Real Salt Lake on Saturday against Vancouver, but he did set up the golazo by Olmes Garcia in the 66th minute.

    Morales' run down the left of the side of the pitch drew two defenders, one of whom was supposed to be marking Garcia.

    With the two defenders on him, Morales was able to slot the ball over to the feet of Garcia, who provided us with a spectacular goal to open the scoring in MLS this weekend.  

8. Landon Donovan: Los Angeles Galaxy

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    Last Week's Ranking: Not Ranked

    Landon Donovan makes his first appearance in the superstar power rankings after his performance for the Los Angeles Galaxy against FC Dallas on Saturday.

    Donovan was one of the few Galaxy players who started on Wednesday in the CONCACAF Champions League against Monterrey and on Saturday at FC Dallas Stadium. 

    Donovan played a full 90 minutes for the Galaxy, and he was able to get away one of his team's three shots on goal in the loss to the Western Conference leaders. 

7. Tim Cahill: New York Red Bulls

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    Last Week's Ranking: Not Ranked

    The play of Tim Cahill has gotten better with the continued development of the New York Red Bulls under new head coach Mike Petke. 

    After the Australian failed to produce much in attack for the first three games of the season, he has been more active on the offensive end for New York.

    This week against D.C., Cahill was able to take three total shots. Add those statistics to the assist he had last week against Chicago, and Cahill is having quite the start to the month of April. 

6. Federico Higuain: Columbus Crew

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    Last Week's Ranking: 6

    After a rather unproductive game against Philadelphia, Federico Higuain rebounded with a strong performance up front against Montreal on Sunday. 

    Higuain played the full 90 minutes for the Columbus Crew in their 1-1 draw with the Impact, and he was able to get away five shots, one of which was on target.

    Although he has not scored since the first week of the season, Higuain's presence up front has helped Dominic Oduro break free. Oduro has scored in two consecutive games for Columbus. 

    With Oduro now finding the back of the net, the multitude of defenders that Higuain usually draws should drift toward Oduro and give the Argentinian more space to get free. 

5. Diego Chara: Portland Timbers

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    Last Week's Ranking: 4

    For the second consecutive week, Diego Chara was a very active part of the Portland Timbers midfield. 

    Chara played for the entire 90 minutes and was an integral part of the Timbers attack moving forward in the second half.

    With the development of Chara's play in the midfield, it will be a great sight to see him play alongside Diego Valeri in the Timbers midfield when Valeri returns from his current injury. 

4. Alvaro Saborio: Real Salt Lake

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    Last Week's Ranking: 3

    After being all over the place against Colorado last week, Alvaro Saborio's offensive output diminished a bit against Vancouver on Saturday. 

    The Costa Rican forward has now gone two games without scoring a goal, but his goal drought should not last much longer if we rely on his past scoring records. 

3. Marco Di Vaio: Montreal Impact

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    Last Week's Ranking: 8

    Marco Di Vaio rested last week and came back on Sunday with plenty of life in the Montreal Impact attack. 

    Di Vaio was a force up front for Montreal, taking two shots and getting one of them on goal. 

    The Italian's biggest impact would come in the 68th minute when he delivered a strong shot past the outstretched arm of Columbus keeper Andy Gruenebaum to give his team the lead.

    Di Vaio and the Impact would go on to draw with the Crew in front of their home fans at Stade Saputo on Sunday. 

2. Thierry Henry: New York Red Bulls

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    Last Week's Ranking: 7

    Thierry Henry was back in the Red Bulls starting lineup on Saturday, and he easily brushed aside the lingering injury concerns about his MCL strain. 

    In the 29th minute of his game against D.C. United, Henry unleashed a shot from just outside the left side of the penalty area. 

    Henry's shot skated across the penalty area and into the back of the net to propel the Red Bulls to a 2-0 victory. 

    Henry ended the game with five total shots, a total that shattered his season-high of one. 

1. Claudio Bieler: Sporting Kansas City

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    Last Week's Ranking: 1

    The only way to cool off Claudio Bieler is not to let him on to the pitch.

    That is exactly what happened this weekend, as the Argentinian goal scorer's team, Sporting Kansas City, had off this week. 

    With the developments this weekend, Bieler does not have sole possession of second place in the Golden Boot race after Jack McInerney of Philadelphia scored his fourth goal of the season to tie him with Bieler. 

    Bieler will have plenty of chances to score next week as he takes on New York and Los Angeles.

    Follow me on Twitter: @JTansey90.

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