MLS Player Power Rankings After Matches from September 19-21

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistSeptember 23, 2014

MLS Player Power Rankings After Matches from September 19-21

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    There is no doubt that Week 28 belonged to Bradley Wright-Phillips.

    The Golden Boot leader netted a hat-trick against the league's best team at Red Bull Arena to move within four goals of breaking the single-season league scoring record.

    Over the last few weeks, the Englishman has been in a fight for the top spot in the MLS Player Power Rankings with three LA Galaxy players.

    Continue reading on to see if Wright-Phillips snatched the top spot away from Landon Donovan.  

On the Way out

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    In all honesty, five or six players could've left the list this week because there are plenty of stars knocking on the door ready to crash the party. 

    Despite the push for new faces, only three players were able to make it into the top 20 this week.

    Players Dropped Out of Rankings: 

    Fabian Castillo (FC Dallas; Previous Ranking: 13)

    Sebastien Le Toux (Philadelphia; 16)

    Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City; 19) 

20. Michael Bradley

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    Previous Ranking: 20 

    Michael Bradley was close to falling off the list, but his numbers against Chivas USA were too good to justify an exit after one week. 

    The United States international completed 96 percent of his 94 passes in the 3-0 win at BMO Field, and 12 of his 13 long balls were accurate. 

    On top of that, Bradley made a game-high 107 touches and had three shots, two of which were on target. 

19. Gilberto

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    Previous Ranking: Not Ranked

    The third, lesser known, designated player inked in the offseason by Toronto FC continued his strong season with a goal and an assist Sunday. 

    Gilberto has scored five goals in his last nine games for a Toronto side who is still somewhat alive in the Eastern Conference playoff race. 

18. Osvaldo Alonso

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    Previous Ranking: 17

    In 80 minutes of play at Red Bull Arena, Osvaldo Alonso had a solid night for a weakened Seattle side. 

    Alonso led the team in tackles with three, completed 90 percent of his 60 passes and made 72 touches in the 4-1 loss to New York. 

    The midfielder will face a tough task Wednesday against FC Dallas before a presumably easy Saturday awaits him against Chivas USA. 

17. Robbie Rogers

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    Previous Ranking: Not Ranked

    If Jurgen Klinsmann listens to Robbie Keane, Robbie Rogers will be back in the United States squad sooner rather than later. 

    Rogers turned in a terrific performance at left-back in the Galaxy's 2-1 win over FC Dallas, which led to the high praise from his teammate. 

    Although he is fine form, one has to wonder if he can unseat Fabian Johnson, Timothy Chandler or DeAndre Yedlin for a consistent spot on Klinsmann's roster. 

16. Omar Gonzalez

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    Previous Ranking: 18

    One Galaxy defender who is already in the national team setup is Omar Gonzalez, who is rounding into form at the right time of the season. 

    The center-back was impressive once again for Bruce Arena's side with 10 effective clearances, four tackles and two interceptions in the 2-1 win over FC Dallas. 

    Gonzalez's form will be tested Sunday, when Thierry Henry, Bradley Wright-Phillips and the Red Bulls come to StubHub Center. 

15. Ignacio Piatti

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    Previous Ranking: Not Ranked 

    The Montreal Impact have been a different side since the entrance of Ignacio Piatti into the lineup. 

    In the six games the 29-year-old Argentinian has played, Frank Klopas' side have three wins, two losses and a draw.

    To put that in perspective, Montreal had three wins in the first five months of the season. 

14. Obafemi Martins

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    Previous Ranking: 12

    After coming off the bench to secure the U.S. Open Cup Tuesday, Obafemi Martins played a small role in Seattle's loss to New York.

    Martins entered the match in the 59th minute and failed to take a single shot. 

    In what could be the stat of the year, Seattle is 17-0-0 in regular-season games when Martins scores a goal, per FC Dallas' Daniel Robertson. 

13. Federico Higuain

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    Previous Ranking: 14

    Week 28 brought out the best and worst in Federico Higuain. 

    Higuain scored on a trademark free-kick in the 48th minute, but he produced a dud from the spot in the 85th minute. 

    Despite missing the late penalty, Higuain and the Crew won 1-0 over New England to open up a two-point gap on Philadelphia in the race for the fifth playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. 

12. Lee Nguyen

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    Previous Ranking: 10

    On a day where the Revolution were shutout at Crew Stadium, Lee Nguyen was still highly active. 

    Although his five-game streak of being involved in a goal ended, the star central midfielder produced three shots on target and two key passes. 

    Nguyen should have a chance to get back on the scoresheet Friday against a shaky Sporting Kansas City defense. 

11. Joao Plata

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    Previous Ranking: 15

    Joao Plata received a nice backheel pass from Ned Grabavoy to score his 13th goal of the season for Real Salt Lake in the rout of Colorado Friday night. 

    Since his return from international duty, Plata has scored in two consecutive games for a Claret and Cobalt side looking to unseat the Galaxy in the race for second in the Western Conference. 

10. Thierry Henry

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    Previous Ranking: 9

    Why score in a big game when your teammate is the league's leading scorer? 

    Thierry Henry did not record a shot on target for the first time since August 31, but he did record the third-highest number of touches by a New York player with 77. 

    Next week Henry will face a Galaxy side, which held him to zero shots in the last meeting between the two sides on May 19, 2013. 

9. Chris Wondolowski

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    Previous Ranking: 6

    You would think that Chris Wondolowski would have had at least a few chances to score against Montreal, but he failed to fire a shot on target. 

    In the 2-0 loss, the Earthquakes only put one shot on target as a team, which came from substitute Matias Perez Garcia. 

    Wondolowski's next opponent is Colorado, who he has not scored against in two matches this season. 

8. Javier Morales

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    Previous Ranking: 11

    After his 33rd-minute strike against Colorado, Javier Morales moved within one goal of becoming the second player to hit double digits in goals and assists. 

    Morales has nine goals and 11 assists for a Real Salt Lake side who has an embarrassment of riches in attack with Alvaro Saborio and Sebastian Jaime in the fold. 

    In his last six games, Morales has played a part in eight of RSL's 14 goals. 

7. Clint Dempsey

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    Previous Ranking: 7

    Clint Dempsey made a 30-minute cameo in Seattle's defeat at Red Bull Arena which featured his 12th goal of 2014. 

    Dempsey also scored the game-winning goal in Tuesday's U.S. Open Cup final to win his first-ever trophy at the club level. 

    In his last five league games, the United States international has three goals, three assists and 10 shots on target. 

6. Diego Valeri

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    Previous Ranking: 8

    Before we talk about Diego Valeri, please direct your attention to the goal he scored against Vancouver. 

    The spectacular strike from the Argentinian designated player opened the scoring in the 3-0 win over the Timbers' rival for fifth place in the Western Conference.

    Valeri also recorded his 14th assist of the season on Fanendo Adi's goal in the 66th minute. 

5. Dom Dwyer

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    Previous Ranking: 3

    Dom Dwyer had a week off to rest his legs before the final stretch of the season begins. 

    In Week 29, the Englishman will face a New England side who he has not scored against in 97 minutes of play in his career. 

4. Gyasi Zardes

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    Previous Ranking: 

    Gyasi Zardes produced a rare assist in LA's 2-1 win over FC Dallas. 

    Zardes notched his second assist of the season on Robbie Keane's 62nd-minute goal after a physical effort to get the ball back in the box. 

    The other assist earned by Zardes in 2014 also came against FC Dallas back on May 21. 

3. Landon Donovan

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    Previous Ranking: 1

    After two weeks at the top, Landon Donovan has fallen because of a terrific showing from Bradley Wright-Phillips, but we'll get to that later. 

    Donovan made two key passes, and had the second-most touches for the Galaxy with 83, in the win over FC Dallas. 

    In his next game, Donovan will take on Thierry Henry for the final time in his career in what should be a memorable clash at StubHub Center. 

2. Robbie Keane

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    Previous Ranking: 5

    Robbie Keane casually produced a goal and an assist for the Galaxy in Saturday's victory. 

    Keane benefited from Zardes' hustle play to beat Raul Fernandez in the 62nd minute for his 15th goal of the season. 

    He then provided Alan Gordon with his 14th assist on the game-winning goal in the 84th minute. 

1. Bradley Wright-Phillips

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    Previous Ranking: 4

    After his hat-trick against Seattle, it would be a surprise if Bradley Wright-Phillips did not break the single-season league scoring record. 

    Wright-Phillips started his third hat-trick of the season on a first-minute rebound before he scored twice in the span of two minutes in the second half. 

    The two other three-goal performances from the Golden Boot leader came against Houston on April 23 and against Chicago on May 10. 

    Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90.

    All statistics obtained from MLSSoccer.com and WhoScored.com

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