MLS Player Power Rankings After Matches from September 3-7

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistSeptember 9, 2014

MLS Player Power Rankings After Matches from September 3-7

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    There is no debating what team the best player in Major League Soccer at the moment plays for. 

    The LA Galaxy have three stars firing on all cylinders, but only one of them can earn the top spot on the list of the league's top-20 players. 

    In the mix alongside Gyasi Zardes, Robbie Keane and Landon Donovan are a few other players, who can't stop scoring for their respective sides.

    Continue reading on to see who tops the latest edition of the MLS Player Power Rankings. 

On the Way out

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    With many players from last week's top 20 putting in good performances in Week 26, only two players fell off the list this week.

    Players Dropped out of Rankings: 

    Perry Kitchen (D.C.; Previous Ranking: 18)

    Brad Davis (Houston; 19) 

20. Maurice Edu

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    Previous Ranking: Not Ranked

    Playing at center-back, Maurice Edu helped lead the Union to two clean sheets against Toronto this week. 

    Edu, who has split time this season at center-back and his normal defensive midfield position, has been a steady force at the back for a Philadelphia side that is now in fifth place in the Eastern Conference. 

    In the last eight games, Edu and the Union defense have held opponents to eight goals. 

19. Joao Plata

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    Previous Ranking: 16

    Joao Plata missed his second game since June 4, as he was away on international duty with Ecuador. 

    Plata, who has 11 goals and five assists this season, will be available for selection for Real Salt Lake's crucial Western Conference clash Friday with Seattle. 

18. Fabian Espindola

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    Previous Ranking: 15

    In the lone scoreless match played in Week 26, Fabian Espindola put just one of his four shots on target at BC Place. 

    The fulcrum of the D.C. United offense couldn't muster enough of an attacking pulse to put a goal past Vancouver keeper David Ousted in a game where United would've loved to take all three points. 

17. Justin Meram

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    Previous Ranking: Not Ranked 

    Justin Meram continued his hot streak in front of goal with a brace against Chivas USA Sunday at Crew Stadium.

    Meram, who was bounced from this list last week, moved back into the rankings after he extended his scoring run to five goals in five games. 

    The 25-year-old midfielder should have a good chance to keep his good run of form alive against a shaky Houston back four Saturday. 

16. Sebastien Le Toux

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    Previous Ranking: 17 

    In two games against a reeling Toronto FC side, Sebastien Le Toux produced an assist and four shots on goal. 

    The assist came on Philadelphia's lone goal in front of the home crowd Wednesday night at PPL Park.

    Le Toux dished out his sixth assist of the season on a cross from the right that found Conor Casey. 

15. Osvaldo Alonso

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    Previous Ranking: 12

    Before he was able to take the weekend off, Osvaldo Alonso was involved in a wild six-goal contest at StubHub Center against Chivas USA Wednesday night. 

    In the 4-2 win by the Sounders, Alonso once again recorded a team high in touches (87) and pass accuracy (93 percent). 

    The tenacious midfielder also made five tackles against a struggling Chivas USA side. 

14. Lee Nguyen

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    Previous Ranking: 20

    Lee Nguyen's Most Valuable Player candidacy gained plenty of traction this week, as the Revolution player scored twice against Sporting Kansas City and notched an assist against Chicago. 

    In the first of his two games this week, Nguyen had one of his best performances of the season, as he was able to fire off six shots against the defending champions. 

    He showed his class in the box Sunday, when his chip perfectly connected with Diego Fagundez for the first of two Revolution goals against the Fire. 

13. Fabian Castillo

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    Previous Ranking: 6

    After scoring against Real Salt Lake at home two weeks ago, Fabian Castillo had a rough night at Rio Tinto Stadium. 

    Castillo made 38 touches and failed to fire a single shot off in FC Dallas' 2-1 loss to the team they are in direct competition with for third place in the West. 

    The Colombian did make three key passes in the loss, but that stat did not make up for his inability to test Nick Rimando in the RSL net. 

12. Javier Morales

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    Previous Ranking: 11

    Javier Morales was one of a few players that saw their ranking drop this week because of the superb showings from other stars across the league.

    The designated player did not have a bad night for RSL, as he recorded his 10th assist of the season on Alvaro Saborio's game-winning goal in the 77th minute. 

11. Federico Higuain

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    Previous Ranking: 9

    Aside from his penalty miss, which was pretty bad, Federico Higuain had a solid day in his commanding role in midfield for the Crew. 

    Higuain made a team-high 89 touches, and contributed three key passes, in Columbus' 3-0 win over Chivas USA at home Sunday. 

    In three of his last five games, the Argentinian has attempted four shots or more. 

10. Obafemi Martins

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    Previous Ranking: 14

    In one of the best halves of soccer played by any team in the league this season, Obafemi Martins found the back of the net twice for Seattle. 

    The Sounders scored all four goals in their win over Chivas USA in the first half, but had to sweat it out until the end after the Goats pulled two back in the second half. 

    The brace put the season total for Martins at 12, and he needs one assist to become the second player with over 10 goals and assists in 2014. The first player to reach that mark was Robbie Keane. 

9. Diego Valeri

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    Previous Ranking: 10

    Diego Valeri did all he could to will Portland to a victory Sunday afternoon at Providence Park, but his 12 key passes and nine shots were not good enough. 

    Valeri's contributions to the attack resulted in three assists, but thanks to a questionable defense, the Timbers had to settle for a 3-3 draw with San Jose. 

    The trio of assists pushed his season total up to 12, which accompany his seven goals in 27 games.

8. Chris Wondolowski

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    Previous Ranking: 13

    If Chris Wondolowski didn't know how to score, San Jose would be mired in all sorts of trouble at the bottom of the Western Conference standings. 

    Wondolowski added two more goals to his growing tally of 12 after he took advantage of some untimely defending by the Timbers. 

    If, and this is a big if, the Earthquakes can somehow move near fifth place in the West, expect to hear a ton of talk about Wondolowski's MVP credentials. 

7. Clint Dempsey

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    Previous Ranking: 8

    While Martins and Andy Rose were doing all the scoring for the Sounders Wednesday night, Clint Dempsey was doing the dirty work up front.

    Dempsey, who recorded his sixth assist in the victory, was fouled on four occasions and made 60 touches for the victorious Sounders. 

    Expect the United States captain to get back on the scoresheet Friday night, when Seattle hosts RSL at CenturyLink Field. 

6. Thierry Henry

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    Previous Ranking: 7

    It may not look like it by the way he celebrates, but Thierry Henry is having loads of fun playing up front for New York. 

    The French designated player scored his eighth goal of the season in the 52nd minute of the Red Bulls' 2-1 win over Sporting Kansas City Saturday night. 

    Since the beginning of July, Henry has played a part in 10 of the 17 goals scored by Mike Petke's team. 

5. Robbie Keane

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    Previous Ranking: 1

    While he was out on international duty, Robbie Keane saw four scorers pass him in the rankings. 

    The Republic of Ireland international, who should return to the top spot on this list in a week or two, has 14 goals and 12 assists for a Galaxy side who did not miss a beat in his absence. 

4. Dom Dwyer

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    Previous Ranking: 4

    After a yellow-card suspension kept him out of Wednesday's loss to New England, Dom Dwyer returned to the Sporting lineup to score his 18th goal of the season. 

    During his side's four-game losing streak, Dwyer has scored on two occasions, but the Sporting defense has allowed 11 goals during that run. 

    The English forward has put 40 shots on target this season, which means he is close to scoring once every two times he hits a shot on goal. 

3. Bradley Wright-Phillips

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    Previous Ranking: 3

    Bradley Wright-Phillips' chase for the single-season scoring record continued Saturday with his 21st strike in the win over Sporting KC. 

    With two big games coming up against D.C. United and Philadelphia, Wright-Phillips could inch closer to the record held by Roy Lassiter and Chris Wondolowski. 

2. Gyasi Zardes

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    Previous Ranking: 5

    It's funny how big a difference a year makes in the development process of a forward.

    Last season, we were all wondering how many goals Gyasi Zardes could've scored if he had the right touch in front of goal. Now all he does is score goals. 

    Zardes bagged his second straight brace in LA's 6-0 romp of Colorado Friday night to move his name into the MVP race. 

    Do not be surprised if Zardes receives a call from Jurgen Klinsmann to play alongside club teammate Landon Donovan in the American legend's final international game October 10. 

1. Landon Donovan

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    Previous Ranking: 2

    Not only is Landon Donovan the best player in a Galaxy shirt, and in all of MLS right now, he is the best United States international playing across the globe at the moment.

    Donovan contributed two goals and two assists in LA's big home win over Colorado to give him sole possession of first place on the league assists chart with 14.

    In the last five games, Donovan has played a part in 12 of the 19 goals scored by the surging Galaxy.

    Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90.

    All statistics obtained from MLSSoccer.com and WhoScored.com

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