MLS Player Power Rankings After Matches from September 26-28
Everywhere you turned this weekend, the stars of Major League Soccer were scoring goals.
Robbie Keane, Landon Donovan, Michael Bradley, Clint Dempsey and Obafemi Martins were among the plethora of big-name scorers in Week 29.
It just so happens that all five of those players sit near the top of the MLS Player Power Rankings along with rising stars Gyasi Zardes and Dom Dwyer, who both scored a goal this weekend too.
With so many stars vying for the top spot this week, it was hard to choose the best player in the league, but one exquisite piece of finishing helped us make the final decision.
Continue reading on for a look at who earned the top spot in the MLS Player Power Rankings.
On the Way out
With competition for these spots increasing by the week, only two players moved in to the top 20.
Making way for the newcomers are two Canadian-based players.
Players Dropped Out of Rankings:
Ignacio Piatti (Montreal; Previous Ranking: 15)
Gilberto (Toronto FC; 19)
20. Wil Trapp
Previous Ranking: Not Ranked
Wil Trapp has proven week after week that he is going to be a star in the midfield for the Columbus Crew and the United States men's national team in the years to come.
Trapp continued his strong 2014 campaign in the 2-0 win over Montreal with his third assist of the season.
On top of the assist, the 21-year-old had his normal day in his defensive midfield position with six tackles and two interceptions.
In 24 matches this season, Trapp is averaging 2.8 tackles and 2.2 interceptions per game.
19. Luis Silva
Previous Ranking: Not Ranked
Luis Silva scored his 11th goal of the season in D.C. United's 1-0 win over Philadelphia at RFK Stadium.
His goal against the Union came seven days after he notched his second brace of the season against Chicago.
The leading scorer for the first-place team in the Eastern Conference has scored his 11 goals on just 17 shots on target.
18. Osvaldo Alonso
Previous Ranking: 18
As expected, Osvaldo Alonso put in an above-average showing against a weak Chivas USA midfield.
In the 4-2 win over the Goats, Alonso completed 94 percent of his 103 passes, and he led the Sounders in touches with 117.
Alonso carries a 91.1 percent pass success rate into the final month of the season.
17. Robbie Rogers
Previous Ranking: 17
The LA Galaxy defense is playing as well as the offense at the moment, which means Robbie Rogers has put himself in contention to be named Defender of the Year.
The left-back did not face the electric Lloyd Sam on the right wing in what would've been a crucial battle in the match against the Red Bulls.
With Sam out, and the Galaxy defense on fire, Rogers and the rest of the back four held New York to only a few clear-cut chances on goal.
16. Omar Gonzalez
Previous Ranking: 16
One player that will challenge Rogers for the title of the league's best defender is his teammate Omar Gonzalez.
Gonzalez was once again sharp at center-back for the Galaxy with eight effective clearances against a Red Bulls attack that seemed to play in slow motion for parts of the match.
The United States international also won six aerial duels in the 4-0 victory at StubHub Center.
15. Michael Bradley
Previous Ranking: 20
It might finally be time for the Michael Bradley haters to stay quiet.
Bradley, who caught a ton of criticism after the World Cup, created the final two goals in Toronto's come-from-behind win over Portland.
His highlight from the game came in the 89th minute, when his free-kick bounced through a plethora of players to beat Donovan Ricketts for the game-winning goal.
14. Joao Plata
Previous Ranking: 11
Joao Plata could not extend his scoring streak to three games in Real Salt Lake's 2-1 road defeat at Vancouver.
Plata was silenced for most of the match, as he placed only one shot on target for the third-place club in the Western Conference.
There was some good news for Plata this week, as he earned another call-up to the Ecuador national team for a pair of October matches, per MLSSoccer.com.
13. Federico Higuain
Previous Ranking: 13
It took Federico Higuain five tries, but he finally converted a penalty kick for the Columbus Crew.
Higuain, who has put together a blooper reel of penalties this season, scored his 11th goal of the season in the 58th minute of Columbus' 2-0 victory over Montreal.
With the win, Higuain and the Crew moved up to fourth place in the East with 43 points, which puts them two ahead of New York.
12. Lee Nguyen
Previous Ranking: 12
Lee Nguyen may not have scored for the Revolution Friday night, but he did contribute his fifth assist of the season on Jermaine Jones' game-winning goal.
The Most Valuable Player candidate is averaging 2.6 shots and 2.2 key passes per game in 28 appearances for the second-place team in the East.
11. Thierry Henry
10. Chris Wondolowski
Previous Ranking: 9
Chris Wondolowski tried to find a way to make an impact on the final result in San Jose's match against Colorado.
Wondolowski made three key passes, and attempted three shots, in the 1-1 draw between two sides, who are out of the playoff race in the West.
To go along with his 13 goals and four assists this season, the United States international has averaged three shots per game.
9. Diego Valeri
Previous Ranking: 6
Because he did not score a big goal in spectacular fashion for an MLS Cup contender, Diego Valeri was pushed down a few spots this week.
In the 3-2 defeat to Toronto, Valeri did make four key passes and take four shots, but that was not good enough in the end.
As a result, the Timbers are now one point behind Vancouver in the fight for the final playoff position in the West.
8. Javier Morales
Previous Ranking: 8
Javier Morales did not score in Real Salt Lake's loss to Vancouver, but he did provide a crucial assist on Nat Borchers' headed goal in the 57th minute.
At the time of the goal, the Claret and Cobalt had leveled the match, but the Whitecaps benefited from a Pedro Morales winner 21 minutes later to earn the victory.
With the assist, Morales extended his goal-involvement streak to five games.
7. Obafemi Martins
Previous Ranking: 14
Obafemi Martins chipped in two goals and an assist to the Seattle cause in the 4-2 win over Chivas USA.
The Nigerian blazed a 14th-minute strike past Dan Kennedy before he danced through traffic to score his 15th goal of the season in the 51st minute.
Martins jumped into double digits in assists with yet another impressive combination with Clint Dempsey in the 45th minute.
6. Clint Dempsey
Previous Ranking: 7
Sometimes it's nice to appreciate the little things that forwards do to get open.
Clint Dempsey impressed on his 45th-minute goal not because of his finishing touch, but due to his run into space to latch on to the pass from Martins.
In Seattle's 18th victory of the season, Dempsey attempted eight shots, four of which were on target.
5. Dom Dwyer
Previous Ranking: 5
Dom Dwyer could not have asked for a better assist to set up his 20th goal of the season.
Dwyer would not have been able to score his 56th-minute equalizer against New England without a terrific headed pass from Paulo Nagamura.
Despite evening things early in the second half, Dwyer was not able to prevent a game-winning goal from the Revolution, which can be blamed on Matt Besler's awful defending.
4. Gyasi Zardes
Previous Ranking: 4
Gyasi Zardes was the least productive of the three Galaxy MVP candidates in the rout of New York, as he scored one goal in the 69th minute.
The 16th goal of the season for the Galaxy forward kept him three goals ahead of Dempsey in the race to be the top-scoring American in MLS.
3. Bradley Wright-Phillips
Previous Ranking: 1
A week after thrilling us all with a hat-trick, Bradley Wright-Phillips showed us he is still human.
The Golden Boot leader failed to score in a game that was controlled from the start by the Galaxy stars in white.
If Wright-Phillips fails to finish like he did Sunday during the month of October, he may come up short in his chase for the single-season scoring record.
2. Landon Donovan
Previous Ranking: 3
Landon Donovan is setting all sorts of records in his final professional season.
With three assists against the Red Bulls, Donovan moved into a tie with Steve Ralston for the all-time lead in assists, per LA Galaxy Insider Adam Serrano.
1. Robbie Keane
Previous Ranking: 2
We could use this space to praise Robbie Keane, but we're still trying to find words to describe his eighth-minute chip goal.
Keane was asked after the game if that was the most audacious chip he ever attempted, and he responded by saying the one he scored against Chivas USA last month was better, per LA Galaxy Insider Adam Serrano.
Here's hoping Keane tries to score an even better chip before the season ends.
Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90.