MLS Player Power Rankings After Matches from September 10-14

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistSeptember 16, 2014

MLS Player Power Rankings After Matches from September 10-14

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    The play in Major League Soccer throughout Week 27 may not have been as exciting as past weeks, but it did see plenty of stars contribute in major ways. 

    In almost every game played this week, someone in the MLS Player Power Rankings made an impact, which is why compiling this list was a bit difficult this time around. 

    Those stars contributed in a variety of ways, whether it be scoring goals, providing assists, doing the dirty work in midfield or having a strong day in defense. 

    Continue reading on to see who the top-20 players in MLS are at the moment. 

On the Way out

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    Three players fell out of the rankings due to disciplinary issues and rough showings in Week 27.

    Players Dropped out of Rankings

    Justin Meram (Columbus; Previous Ranking: 17)

    Fabian Espindola (D.C.; 18)

    Maurice Edu (Philadelphia; 20) 

20. Michael Bradley

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    Previous Ranking: Not Ranked 

    Michael Bradley put in yet another efficient performance in the midfield for Toronto in the 1-1 draw with Chicago. 

    Bradley, whose play has been one of the few positives to come out of Toronto right now, made a game-high 92 touches, and completed 94 percent of his 78 passes. 

    In 18 matches this season, Bradley has put together a pass success rate of 85.5 percent. 

19. Benny Feilhaber

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    Previous Ranking: Not Ranked

    One of the players that should receive a chance to partner Bradley in the midfield for the United States men's national team is Benny Feilhaber. 

    The Sporting Kansas City player scored his fourth goal of the season Friday night against Chivas USA on what can only be described as a hustle play. 

    Feilhaber started the move near the halfway line, and he continued his run all the way into the box so he could tap home the rebound off a Toni Dovale shot that hit the post. 

18. Omar Gonzalez

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    Previous Ranking: Not Ranked

    The LA Galaxy defense have not received much credit during the impressive run of form by the second-place team in the Western Conference, but they deserve a ton of praise.

    Omar Gonzalez is the leader of that back line, and Sunday he was the reason why the Galaxy left Buck Shaw Stadium with a point. 

    The United States international, who also had nine effective clearances and five interceptions in the 1-1 draw, scored his fourth goal of the season on a header in the 28th minute. 

17. Osvaldo Alonso

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    Previous Ranking: 15

    Osvaldo Alonso put in a rather pedestrian shift for Seattle in the 3-2 victory over Real Salt Lake at CenturyLink Field. 

    The midfield bulldog, who went up against Kyle Beckerman in a battle in the middle of the park, only attempted 57 passes, 89 percent of which were completed.

    His touches were also limited, as he made 73, which was 11 less than Beckerman. 

16. Sebastien Le Toux

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    Previous Ranking: 16

    Although his minutes were limited due to Tuesday's U.S. Open Cup final, Sebastien Le Toux still made an impact in Philadelphia's 2-2 draw with New York.

    Le Toux converted from the spot in second-half stoppage time to earn a valuable point at home for his side in the Eastern Conference playoff race. 

15. Joao Plata

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    Previous Ranking: 19

    Everybody's favorite Ecuadorian forward returned to the Real Salt Lake lineup and produced his 12th goal of the season. 

    Joao Plata was one of five different players to find the back of the net in the five-goal thriller between Seattle and RSL. 

    The appearance was his first since he was called up to the Ecuador national team for two games last week. 

14. Federico Higuain

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    Previous Ranking: 11

    Compared to the other playmakers on this list, Federico Higuain had an average day at the office Saturday. 

    The Argentinian fired one of his three shots on target, made two key passes and ranked third on his team in touches with 65. 

    Higuain is currently in the middle of a five-game dry spell in front of goal, which was preceded by a three-game scoring streak. 

13. Fabian Castillo

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    Previous Ranking: 13 

    Fabian Castillo once again played the role of sparkplug in the FC Dallas attack during the 2-1 win over Vancouver. 

    The pace of the Colombian troubled the Whitecaps defense, and he was able to hit two shots on target during his 90 minutes on the pitch.

    His performance at Toyota Park was solid, but it was forgotten by some after Blas Perez scored two goals for the Hoops. 

12. Obafemi Martins

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    Previous Ranking: 10

    It may seem hard to justify Obafemi Martins' two-spot drop despite scoring a goal for Seattle Friday night, but someone had to make way for a few rapid ascensions on this chart. 

    Martins scored his 13th goal of the season in the 43rd minute of the 3-2 victory over RSL, which gave the Sounders a nice boost ahead of the U.S. Open Cup final against Philadelphia Tuesday. 

11. Javier Morales

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    Previous Ranking: 12

    For the fifth game in a row, Javier Morales played a part in at least one goal scored by Real Salt Lake. 

    In the loss to Seattle, Morales provided his eighth goal and 11th assist of the season, which helped eclipse his production level from 2013. 

    The last game in which Morales failed to contribute to a goal was the July 30 clash with New York. 

10. Lee Nguyen

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    Previous Ranking: 14

    If you touch Lee Nguyen right now, you may catch fire. 

    That is how hot the New England midfielder, who scored his 13th goal of the season Saturday, is right now. 

    Nguyen finished off a fantastic team move in the 25th minute with one of his four shots on target. 

    Since he scored the lone goal against Chivas USA on August 23, Nguyen has played a part in seven of his team's 11 goals. 

9. Thierry Henry

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    Previous Ranking: 6

    Thierry Henry may have played 55 minutes against Philadelphia Saturday, but he did score one of the two New York goals. 

    Other than scoring on the shot, which bounced off Philadelphia keeper Zac MacMath, Henry was ineffective in his third game in a week. 

    The schedule does not get any easier for Henry and the Red Bulls with a CONCACAF Champions League clash against Montreal Wednesday before Seattle comes to town Saturday. 

8. Diego Valeri

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    Previous Ranking: 

    Diego Valeri held a commanding presence in the Portland attack in the 2-2 draw with Colorado. 

    Valeri made a team-high three key passes, and 59 touches, to go along with his eighth goal of the season.

    If Portland is to climb back into fifth place in the Western Conference, Valeri will be the player responsible for it. 

7. Clint Dempsey

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    Previous Ranking: 7

    Clint Dempsey's role Friday night was not to score goals, but to open up space to play the role of provider. 

    Dempsey was credited with an assist on Martins' goal, which put the Sounders ahead by a goal at that moment in the match. 

    In addition to his assist, the United States international made three key passes, and completed 85 percent of his 41 attempted passes, which is not a bad number for a forward. 

6. Chris Wondolowski

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    Previous Ranking: 8

    You can't stop Chris Wondolowski from scoring as many goals as he wants for a struggling San Jose side. 

    Wondolowski scored his 13th goal of 2014 in the Earthquakes' 1-1 draw with intrastate rival LA. 

    Although his team may not be playing exciting soccer on the pitch as a whole, Wondolowski has given San Jose fans something to look forward to in each match with his unstoppable scoring prowess in front of goal since his return from Brazil. 

5. Robbie Keane

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    Previous Ranking: 5

    We have found little to no reason to criticize Robbie Keane over the last two months, but he presented us with a dud of a penalty kick Sunday. 

    Keane missed his 37th-minute penalty in the California Clasico against San Jose, which eventually cost the Galaxy from earning the full three points at Buck Shaw Stadium. 

    Despite the miss, Keane is having quite the season with 14 goals and 13 assists, a total that he added to Wednesday with an assist against Montreal. 

4. Bradley Wright-Phillips

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    Previous Ranking: 3

    The quest for the single-season scoring record was put on hold this week after Bradley Wright-Phillips left Wednesday's game against D.C. at the half. 

    The leading scorer in MLS suffered a hamstring injury in the match at Red Bull Arena, which forced him out of the Saturday game against Philadelphia.

    If he can recover quickly from the injury, the Englishman still has a chance to score seven goals to break the record, but time is running out. 

3. Dom Dwyer

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    Previous Ranking: 4

    While we're on the topic of records, Dom Dwyer set a pretty significant one with his 39th-minute strike against Chivas USA.

    Dwyer's 19th goal of the season saw him eclipse Preki on the Sporting Kansas City franchise single-season scoring chart. 

    If he stays healthy, Dwyer may have an outside chance of breaking the league's single-season record, and win the Golden Boot, especially if Wright-Phillips' injury lingers. 

2. Gyasi Zardes

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    Previous Ranking: 2

    Gyasi Zardes could not find his name on the scoresheet against San Jose, but he did record a goal in the comeback against Montreal, which resulted in a 2-2 draw. 

    The 59th-minute strike by the top American scorer in the league ignited a rally from two goals down in a week that saw the Galaxy lose a bit of ground on the Sounders in the West. 

1. Landon Donovan

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    Previous Ranking: 1

    Landon Donovan could only play in one of the two Galaxy games this week because of a yellow-card suspension he earned with a booking against Montreal. 

    During his 90 minutes on the pitch at Stade Saputo Wednesday night, Donovan made five key passes and a game-high 92 touches. 

    He will return with fresh legs for LA's home match against FC Dallas in Week 28. 

    All statistics obtained from MLSSoccer.com and WhoScored.com.

    Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90

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