MLS Player Power Rankings After Matches from October 16-19

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistOctober 21, 2014

MLS Player Power Rankings After Matches from October 16-19

0 of 21

    USA TODAY Sports

    For the past three months, only three players have topped the Major League Soccer Player Power Rankings. 

    That all changes this week, as none of Bradley Wright-Phillips, Robbie Keane and Landon Donovan sit in the top position on our weekly ranking of the top-20 players in the league. 

    All three of those players are near the top of the chart, but two other Most Valuable Player candidates impressed more in Week 32 to warrant a changing of the guard at the No. 1 spot. 

    Continue reading on for a look at who earned the top spot in the latest edition of the MLS Player Power Rankings. 

On the Way out

1 of 21

    USA TODAY Sports

    Five players fell from the list of the 20 best players in MLS this week thanks to suspensions, ineffective performances and the entrance of a few deserving names. 

    Players Dropped Out of Rankings

    Michael Bradley (Toronto FC; Previous Ranking: 13)

    Joao Plata (Real Salt Lake; 15)

    Osvaldo Alonso (Seattle; 17)

    Matias Laba (Vancouver; 18)

    Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City; 19) 

20. Nick Rimando

2 of 21

    USA TODAY Sports

    Previous Ranking: Not Ranked

    Nick Rimando gave us six more reasons to vote him "Goalkeeper of the Year" for the first time in his career. 

    The United States international came up big for Real Salt Lake with six saves in the 0-0 draw with Portland. 

    In 23 matches this season, Rimando has a 1.09 goals-against average, and a save percentage of 73. 

19. Matt Hedges

3 of 21

    USA TODAY Sports

    Previous Ranking: 20 

    Not only did Matt Hedges and the FC Dallas defense record a clean sheet against Colorado, but they also jumped into third place in the Western Conference after RSL drew with Portland. 

    The clean sheet was the first held by the Hoops since the August 16 blowout win over San Jose at Buck Shaw Stadium. 

    All FC Dallas needs now is a win at home over Portland, and they will hold the third seed in the West, which would be a massive accomplishment in Oscar Pareja's first year as manager. 

18. Wil Trapp

4 of 21

    USA TODAY Sports

    Previous Ranking: Not Ranked 

    Wil Trapp gained a ton of attention this week after Columbus' match at Red Bull Arena concluded, as Thierry Henry lauded the midfielder for his performance.

    The future of the United States men's national team at the defensive-midfield position had another stellar showing for a Crew side that can't be stopped at the moment. 

    Trapp led Columbus in touches with 81 in the 3-1 win, and he completed 87.8 percent of his team-high 74 passes. 

17. Lamar Neagle

5 of 21

    Kelvin Kuo/Associated Press

    Previous Ranking: Not Ranked 

    Once again, Lamar Neagle proved to be the secret weapon in the Seattle attack with his 72nd-minute equalizer in Seattle's 2-2 draw with LA. 

    The 27-year-old now has nine goals and nine assists for the Sounders, and he could very well end up in double digits in both categories going up against a Galaxy defense without Omar Gonzalez Saturday. 

    The goal was Neagle's fourth since September 12, and his first career strike in eight games against the Galaxy. 

16. Chris Wondolowski

6 of 21

    USA TODAY Sports

    Previous Ranking: 12

    Only one more match until Chris Wondolowski can be reunited with Dominic Kinnear. 

    Wondolowski, whose San Jose team has been awful this season, will get a chance to combine with his former manager in 2015 in an attempt to revive the franchise. 

    Before he can look forward to next season, the United States international will look to score his first goal against Chivas USA this season Sunday at StubHub Center. 

15. Federico Higuain

7 of 21

    Matt Sullivan/Getty Images

    Previous Ranking: 16 

    Federico Higuain earned his first assist since August 16 in Columbus' dominant showing at Red Bull Arena. 

    The seventh assist of the season produced by the Argentinian came in a 3-1 win over New York that allowed the Crew to jump into fourth place in the Eastern Conference. 

    Against Philadelphia on Sunday, Higuain needs one goal to earn his highest total since entering MLS in 2012. 

14. Bobby Boswell

8 of 21

    USA TODAY Sports

    Previous Ranking: Not Ranked 

    Bobby Boswell's move to D.C. United from Houston flew under the radar in the offseason, but it may end up being one of the best moves of the season. 

    D.C. United manager Ben Olsen has employed Boswell at center-back for most of the Black and Red's worst-to-first campaign. 

    Without Boswell's presence at center-back alongside Steve Birnbaum, the rookie may not have been able to make an easy transition from the college ranks to MLS. 

    Boswell's value may rise once more in the playoffs if D.C. puts together a run to the MLS Cup final. 

13. Ethan Finlay

9 of 21

    USA TODAY Sports

    Previous Ranking: Not Ranked

    Without Ethan Finlay, the Columbus Crew would not be in line to host the knockout round game of the Eastern Conference playoffs. 

    The 24-year-old Creighton product played a part in all three Crew goals in the surprising road win over the Red Bulls. 

    With his goal in the 34th minute, Finlay extended his scoring streak to four games, which has moved his season total in goals up to 11. 

12. Jermaine Jones

10 of 21

    USA TODAY Sports

    Previous Ranking: 14

    So much for Jermaine Jones needing time to adjust to the league before making an impact. 

    Ever since his first appearance in a Revolution shirt on August 30, Jones has enhanced the product on the pitch for New England. 

    Jones' presence in the midfield has allowed the on-fire Lee Nguyen to constantly play in an attacking role, which has reaped plenty of rewards for Jay Heaps' side in recent weeks. 

11. Thierry Henry

11 of 21

    USA TODAY Sports

    Previous Ranking: 10

    For only the second time in the last eight games, Thierry Henry failed to play a role in a New York goal. 

    The Frenchman, who has 10 goals and 14 assists this season, will need to control the attack against Sporting Kansas City Sunday if the Red Bulls want any chance of hosting the knockout round game in the East. 

    In two matches against the defending MLS Cup champion in 2014, Henry has a goal and an assist. 

10. Gyasi Zardes

12 of 21

    USA TODAY Sports

    Previous Ranking: 7

    Gyasi Zardes was shut down by the Seattle defense in the clash of the league's two best teams on Sunday, as he failed to produce a shot on goal. 

    The 23-year-old, who could not stop scoring this summer, has hit a cold streak recently with one goal in his last six games. 

    Scoring against Seattle in a match with the Supporters' Shield, and the top seed in the West, on the line would be a great way for Zardes to break out of his slump. 

9. Javier Morales

13 of 21

    USA TODAY Sports

    Previous Ranking: 11 

    Javier Morales was at the helm of a timid Real Salt Lake attack in the rain at Providence Park Friday night. 

    Morales was active in the 0-0 draw with four key passes and three shots, as RSL fell to fourth in the West thanks to FC Dallas' win at Colorado a day later. 

    The entire RSL attack should enjoy their final match of the season, as they play host to Chivas USA Wednesday night at Rio Tinto Stadium. 

8. Diego Valeri

14 of 21

    USA TODAY Sports

    Previous Ranking: 9

    On the other side of the pitch Friday night, Diego Valeri was feverishly working to earn a goal for the desperate Timbers. 

    Valeri led the Timbers in touches with 70, and contributed four key passes, but Portland could not leap over Vancouver in the race for fifth place in the West. 

    To have a chance at making the playoffs, Portland must beat FC Dallas on the road. In two matches this season against Oscar Pareja's side, Valeri has attempted 13 shots, but he has not contributed to a goal. 

7. Dom Dwyer

15 of 21

    USA TODAY Sports

    Previous Ranking: 6

    Dom Dwyer did score his 22nd goal of the season Saturday against Philadelphia, but that was his only contribution in the 2-1 loss. 

    For the English forward to claim the Golden Boot title, he will need to score at least four goals against the Red Bulls, who boast the current top scorer in the league in Bradley Wright-Phillips. 

    Scoring four in one game is unlikely, but stranger things have happened this season in MLS. 

6. Bradley Wright-Phillips

16 of 21

    USA TODAY Sports

    Previous Ranking: 

    Speaking of Wright-Phillips, he will be on a quest of his own during the final game of the season. 

    The New York forward needs two goals to tie the single-season scoring record, and he can break the record held by Wondolowski and Roy Lassiter with his fourth hat-trick of the season. 

    The 29-year-old has only scored once in his last four games, so he is due for a scoring outbreak, but asking for a hat-trick may be too much. 

5. Landon Donovan

17 of 21

    USA TODAY Sports

    Previous Ranking: 2

    In his final regular-season home game, Landon Donovan failed to make a massive impact on the Galaxy's draw with the Sounders. 

    For the third straight game, Donovan did not put a single shot on target for a Galaxy side that was firing on all cylinders a few weeks ago. 

    Donovan's influence on Saturday's clash at CenturyLink Field must be massive if LA wants to claim the Supporters' Shield. 

4. Clint Dempsey

18 of 21

    USA TODAY Sports

    Previous Ranking: 4

    The one heralded American scorer who did show up Sunday night was Clint Dempsey

    Dempsey sparked the Seattle comeback by scoring in the 69th minute of the heavyweight clash at StubHub Center. 

    Heading into the final match of the regular season, Dempsey needs one assist to become the seventh player this season to record over 10 goals and assists. 

3. Robbie Keane

19 of 21

    Kelvin Kuo/Associated Press

    Previous Ranking: 1

    Just like Donovan, Robbie Keane was ineffective in the biggest game of the year so far. 

    Keane was limited to just one shot, which was not on target, in the Galaxy's 10th draw of the season.

    The last time Keane had that little of an impact on a match was June 1, when he fired one shot off target against the Chicago Fire. 

2. Obafemi Martins

20 of 21

    Kelvin Kuo/Associated Press

    Previous Ranking: 5

    Obafemi Martins' credentials for Most Valuable Player were on display at StubHub Center, as he produced two assists in the clash of the MLS titans. 

    Martins was easily the best superstar on display Sunday night, as he boosted his MVP stock while Keane and Donovan were silenced by Seattle's defense. 

    The Nigerian forward still has work to do if he wants to win the award, but another fine showing against the Galaxy might just do the trick. 

1. Lee Nguyen

21 of 21

    USA TODAY Sports

    Previous Ranking: 8

    No discussion about the MVP can be had without Lee Nguyen being involved. 

    Nguyen has been in tremendous form as of late for New England with four goals in his last three games, including a brace against Houston Thursday night. 

    The terrific 17-goal season put in by the midfielder has helped the Revolution become one of the top contenders to win MLS Cup, and it has put Nguyen's name into the United States men's national team discussion, which no one thought was a possibility seven months ago. 

    Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90.

    All statistics obtained from MLSSoccer.com and WhoScored.com

slash iconYour sports. Delivered.

Enjoy our content? Join our newsletter to get the latest in sports news delivered straight to your inbox!