MLS Player Power Rankings: Plata, BWP, Martins Surge Up Chart

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistMay 6, 2014

MLS Player Power Rankings: Plata, BWP, Martins Surge Up Chart

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    Major League Soccer's ninth week of play saw a bevy of attacking talent come to the forefront, as 30 goals were scored in nine matches. 

    Because of that high goal total, plenty of attack-minded players found themselves high up on the latest edition of the MLS player power rankings.

    Only one defender was able to crack the top 10 in a week that saw Joao Plata, Bradley Wright-Phillips and Obafemi Martins skyrocket up the chart. 

    Continue reading on for the complete list of 20 players who made the Week 9 edition of the "Bleacher Report MLS Player Power Rankings."

On the Way out

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    Due to some terrific individual displays across the league in Week 9, six players failed to hold on to their spots in the top 20. 

    Players Dropped Out of Rankings: 

    Fabian Espindola (D.C.; Week 8 Ranking: 11)

    Darren Mattocks (Vancouver; 14)

    Dom Dwyer (Sporting Kansas City; 15)

    Lloyd Sam (New York; 17)

    Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake; 18)

    Sebastian Fernandez (Vancouver; 20)

20. Michael Bradley

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    Week 8 Ranking: 12 

    Just like he has been all season, Michael Bradley was a bright spot for Toronto FC in an otherwise spotty game as a whole. 

    Bradley made the most touches of any TFC player, with 91, and completed 78 percent of his passes, in the 2-1 home loss to New England. 

    The United States international will only have one or two games left with the Reds before he departs for the World Cup camp.

19. Maurice Edu

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    Week 8 Ranking: 

    Maurice Edu's fall down the list this week is due to his shaky play on the game-winning goal conceded by Philadelphia.

    Edu, and two of his teammates, were left in the dust by Chad Marshall in the 84th minute, as the Union let in yet another late goal.

    Despite his one slip-up on Saturday, Edu has been consistent for an inconsistent at best Philadelphia side, but he is still on the fringe of the final 23-man United States roster for the World Cup as of now.

18. Diego Valeri

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    Week 8 Ranking: not ranked

    The Diego Valeri we all came to know and love in 2013 returned on Saturday night in Portland's first victory of the season. 

    Valeri served up his first two assists of the season on the first two Timbers goals, and he played a part in the third and game-winning goal, when his cross found the feet of Maximiliano Urruti. 

    Valeri also made six key passes in the 3-2 win over D.C. at Providence Park.

17. Chris Wondolowski

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    Week 8 Ranking: not ranked

    After spending two weeks away from the player power rankings, Chris Wondolowski returns after scoring a brace against Vancouver. 

    Wondolowski struck the back of the net right before halftime, and in second-half stoppage time, in an attempt to bring San Jose back from the dead. 

    Despite his efforts falling short at BC Place, Wondolowski continued to make an impression on United States manager Jurgen Klinsmann about a spot on the World Cup roster.

16. Pedro Morales

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    Week 8 Ranking: not ranked

    In a weekend where one designated player left the Whitecaps for good, the team's newest DP had a terrific game against San Jose. 

    Pedro Morales scored twice in the span of two minutes in the first half of the 3-2 win and fired six shots from his attacking midfield position. 

    Thanks to his showing on Saturday night, and the potential of the young core around him, Vancouver parted ways with Kenny Miller the next day.

15. Graham Zusi

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    Week 8 Ranking: 16

    "Mr. Consistency" continued his terrific run-in to Brazil with an assist and five key passes in Sporting Kansas City's 2-0 win over Columbus. 

    Graham Zusi's fourth assist of the season came in the waning moments of the match when he chipped the ball over Columbus keeper Steve Clark to find a wide-open Claudio Bieler. 

14. Giles Barnes

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    Week 8 Ranking: not ranked 

    Giles Barnes found the back of the net from open play, and from the penalty spot, in Houston's 4-1 win over Chivas USA.

    The 25-year-old Englishman had the best game of his season up front for a Houston side that was firing on all cylinders, and then some, at StubHub Center on Saturday night. 

    The two goals scored by Barnes were his first two of the 2014 campaign.

13. Alvaro Saborio

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    Week 8 Ranking: not ranked

    Alvaro Saborio scored for the second consecutive week, as Real Salt Lake's attack continued to tear apart opposing defenses. 

    Saborio's strike came in the 90th minute of RSL's 3-2 comeback win over Chicago, a game in which the Costa Rica international took nine shots. 

    The experienced forward also contributed his first assist of the season in the statement win by the Claret and Cobalt.

12. Lee Nguyen

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    Week 8 Ranking: 19

    If we were keeping track of the most underrated player in MLS in 2014, Lee Nguyen's name would be at the top of the list. 

    Nguyen isn't getting as much press for his strong play in midfield that he should, as he has been the driving force for the Revolution in almost every game this season. 

    Against Toronto, Nguyen scored from the spot in the 82nd minute and contributed five shots and two key passes in the 2-1 New England win.

11. Robbie Keane

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    Week 8 Ranking: 5

    Robbie Keane's six-spot slide in this week's list is because of one terrible kick of the ball. 

    In the 62nd minute of LA's game at Colorado, Keane's penalty kick went wide of the goal and failed to challenge Rapids keeper Clint Irwin.

    As a player of his quality, Keane should never miss as badly as he did on Saturday night from the spot.

10. Mauro Diaz

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    Week 8 Ranking: 2

    No one can figure out what exactly is wrong with Mauro Diaz right now. 

    The only thing we know about the 23-year-old FC Dallas playmaker is that he is currently injured and was listed day-to-day by the team before Sunday's match with New York. 

    FC Dallas manager Oscar Pareja said after the match that an announcement would be made on Monday on the status of Diaz, but Monday came and went without any news from the club.

9. Andrew Farrell

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    Week 8 Ranking: 13 

    Saturday was just another day at the office for Andrew Farrell. 

    The New England defender made 13 effective clearances and blocked a shot in the Revolution's road win in Toronto. 

    Through nine games, Farrell and his New England teammates have conceded 10 times, which is tied with RSL for least goals against after nine games played.

8. Erick Torres

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    Week 8 Ranking: 6

    After taking a week off from his duties as main provider for Chivas USA, Erick Torres scored his seventh goal of the season before things got ugly against Houston. 

    Torres now sits one goal behind Clint Dempsey in the Golden Boot race, and he has been responsible for 78 percent of all his team's goals in 2014.

7. Osvaldo Alonso

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    Week 8 Ranking: 3

    There have been few things to criticize about Osvaldo Alonso's play in 2014, but we found one on Saturday, as he saw his penalty saved by Philadelphia's Zac MacMath. 

    Alonso's production levels were also lower than usual, as he made just 69 touches.

    The good news for the newest Sounders player on Twitter is that he did lead his team in pass accuracy at 87 percent.

6. Javier Morales

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    Week 8 Ranking: 10 

    Javier Morales must have a massive smile on his face every time he sees that Plata and Saborio are lining up in front of him for Real Salt Lake. 

    Morales took his play to another level in the successful comeback at Toyota Park, as he made five key passes and completed 89 percent of his passes. 

    If Morales' form keeps up throughout the rest of the season, RSL will have a plethora of chances on goal, no matter who is in front of 34-year-old.

5. Federico Higuain

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    Week 8 Ranking: 4

    For the third straight game, Federico Higuain fired just one shot on target in a lackluster showing by the Crew. 

    Higuain is still one of the best players in the league, but his form has dropped off a bit after his terrific start to the season that saw him score four goals in five games. 

    The 29-year-old will have plenty of time to regain that form in Week 10 with games against Houston and Vancouver in a three-day span.

4. Joao Plata

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    Week 8 Ranking: not ranked

    If you don't love to watch Joao Plata play the game of soccer, you don't have a soul. 

    The energetic 22-year-old Ecuadorian erupted for two goals against Chicago on Saturday night to move his name into serious consideration for the Golden Boot. 

    Plata, who missed three games due to injury, has scored three times and fired five shots on goal in his last two matches.

3. Obafemi Martins

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    Week 8 Ranking: 8

    Bad weather in Seattle on Saturday night could not stop Obafemi Martins from scoring his fourth goal of the season. 

    Martins netted a goal for the third consecutive week in the 61st minute of Seattle's home win over the Union. 

    The co-league leader in assists contributed two shots in his 88 minutes on the pitch for the league's best team.

2. Bradley Wright-Phillips

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    Week 8 Ranking: 7

    The hottest player in the goalscoring department at the moment is Bradley Wright-Phillips. 

    Wright-Phillips scored his fifth goal in three games on Sunday to power New York past FC Dallas, 1-0. 

    The 29-year-old has benefited greatly from playing alongside Thierry Henry in the Red Bulls attack, and if he keeps scoring like he has been, he could be the team's leading scorer by the time the season ends.

1. Clint Dempsey

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    Week 8 Ranking: 1

    Clint Dempsey showed us all that he is indeed human after all, as he failed to score against Philadelphia at CenturyLink Field. 

    Despite not finding the back of the net for just the third game this season, Dempsey did have four shots and three key passes. 

    Once play ended in Week 9, Dempsey remained on top of the league charts in goals, shots and shots on target. 

    All statistics obtained from and 

    Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90. 

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