MLS Player Rankings: Dempsey Rises to Top After Week 10 Brace
All of the complaints we had about the lack of scoring during the first few weeks of the Major League Soccer season drifted into the abyss after Week 10 concluded.
The fast-paced attacking action we are used to seeing in MLS showed itself all weekend, and some of the biggest names in the league found the back of the net.
Clint Dempsey was one of the those players, as he bagged a brace for the Sounders against Columbus. Kei Kamara did the same on the other end of the pitch for the victorious Crew.
Due to his output in the final third in Week 10, and in his previous games for Seattle, Dempsey earned a slight edge over Kamara for the top spot in our MLS Player Rankings.
Continue reading on to see who else joined Dempsey and Kamara on the list of the league's top 20 players.
On the Way out
For the first time this season, we dropped just two players from the top 20. This pair fell off the list due to lack of production in Week 10.
Players Dropped Out of Rankings
Gabriel Torres (Colorado Rapids; Previous Ranking: 16)
Harry Shipp (Chicago Fire; 20)
20. Matt Polster, CM, Chicago Fire
Previous Ranking: Not Ranked
There is one clear candidate for the Rookie of the Year award at this point in the season, and that is Matt Polster.
The Chicago Fire midfielder has rarely turned in a poor performance during his first eight professional contests.
The calming force in the middle of the park is averaging 2.1 tackles and interceptions per game, and he has a pass success rate of 80.3 percent.
19. Pedro Morales, AM, Vancouver Whitecaps
Previous Ranking: Not Ranked
No player has fluctuated in and out of this list more than Pedro Morales this season.
Morales climbed back into our good graces on Saturday thanks to a splendid match in the final third against the struggling Philadelphia Union.
The Chilean playmaker provided the Whitecaps with a goal, an assist and five key passes in the 3-0 victory at BC Place.
18. Alvas Powell, RB, Portland Timbers
Previous Ranking: 18
Alvas Powell continued his streak of terrific performances at the back for the Portland Timbers in Week 10, as he limited Dilly Duka's influence on the left wing.
Powell held the Montreal winger to one shot off target over 68 minutes, and he totaled nine tackles and eight interceptions at Stade Saputo.
If he turns in a few more strong showings over the next few weeks, Powell could receive a call from Jamaica boss Winfried Schafer ahead of the Copa America and Gold Cup.
17. Kaka, AM, Orlando City
Previous Ranking: 9
Kaka delivered us with an underwhelming 90-minute shift on Friday night at the Citrus Bowl.
In Orlando City's 2-2 draw with the New England Revolution, the Brazilian failed to put a shot on target in front of the purple-clad crowd in Orlando.
In his last five matches, Kaka has put one of five attempts on target.
16. Charlie Davies, FW, New England Revolution
Previous Ranking: 19
The number of people supporting Charlie Davies' bid for a spot on the USMNT Gold Cup roster grows with each week he finds the back of the net.
Davies scored for the fourth consecutive week on Friday, as he took advantage of an Orlando mistake in the 19th minute at the Citrus Bowl.
Next up for Davies and the first-place team in the Eastern Conference is a home match against Toronto FC on Saturday, which will draw the eyes of plenty USMNT fans due to the star power on the Reds' roster.
15. Jozy Altidore, FW, Toronto FC
Previous Ranking: 15
One player not worried about his spot on the Gold Cup roster is Jozy Altidore, who scored his first home goal for Toronto on Sunday.
Altidore's 77th-minute header into the right side of the net was one of the few positives produced by the Reds in the first match at the renovated BMO Field.
If he wants to score his sixth goal of the season in Week 11, he must find a way to exploit his matchup against the tough New England defense, which might be led by his USMNT teammate Jermaine Jones.
14. Mix Diskerud, CM, New York City FC
Previous Ranking: 10
With USMNT boss Jurgen Klinsmann in attendance, Mix Diskerud turned in his worst outing in a New York City FC shirt in the first Hudson River derby with the New York Red Bulls.
Diskerud left the pitch in the 63rd minute after he lost the midfield battle to Sacha Kljestan.
"I thought Mix was just not great tonight. I thought he was kind of in and around things and not making plays," NYCFC boss Jason Kreis said after the match, per Soccer by Ives' Franco Panizo.
13. Lloyd Sam, RM, New York Red Bulls
Previous Ranking: 14
While Diskerud struggled on Sunday night, Lloyd Sam thrived on the wing in the 2-1 victory by the host Red Bulls.
The 30-year-old Englishman earned his second and third assists of the season in the first-ever clash between the two New York sides.
Sunday marked the first time in his MLS career that Sam earned two assists in a game. He has never netted two goals in a MLS match.
12. Felipe, CM, New York Red Bulls
Previous Ranking: 12
Felipe produced a solid shift in front of the home fans at Red Bull Arena in Week 10.
The 24-year-old was second on the team in touches with 62, and he was one of three Red Bulls to dish out three key passes against NYCFC.
Felipe leads the league in key passes per game with 3.1, which is a total slightly better than the one produced by Morales.
11. Mauro Diaz, AM, FC Dallas
Previous Ranking: 17
There are few players in MLS that everyone will stop what they're doing to watch. FC Dallas midfielder Mauro Diaz is one of them.
Diaz wowed us with his talents once again in Week 10 in the Hoops' 2-1 home victory over the LA Galaxy.
The best bit of skill produced by the Argentinian came in the 77th minute, when he lofted a perfect chip over the Galaxy defense onto the feet of Blas Perez.
In his last three matches, Diaz has two goals and four assists. If he extends that streak in Week 11, Diaz will have earned his numbers since he has to face the pressing Red Bulls midfield.
10. Giles Barnes, FW, Houston Dynamo
Previous Ranking: 13
Giles Barnes did not find the back of the net at BMO Field on Sunday, but he was arguably the best player on the pitch in Houston's 2-1 win over Toronto.
Barnes made 57 touches and attempted five shots in the match that saw yet another opposing attack wreak havoc on the Toronto back line.
The top moment of the night for Barnes came in the 53rd minute, when he darted past Michael Bradley on the counter and fed Will Bruin with a perfect ball to create the Dynamo's second goal.
We would have moved Barnes up a few more spots this week, but he took a soft penalty on Tuesday against San Jose that was easily saved by David Bingham.
9. Bradley Wright-Phillips, FW, New York Red Bulls
Previous Ranking: 11
Bradley Wright-Phillips certainly enjoys playing on May 10.
One year after netting a hat-trick against the Chicago Fire at Red Bull Arena, Wright-Phillips found the back of the net on two occasions in the Hudson River derby.
The brace was the fourth for Wright-Phillips in his MLS career. He also has three hat-tricks to his name since joining the Red Bulls in 2013.
8. Benny Feilhaber, CM, Sporting Kansas City
Previous Ranking: 6
One match that flew under the radar in Week 10 was the 1-1 draw between Sporting Kansas City and D.C. United.
In the tie at RFK Stadium, Benny Feilhaber put up some respectable numbers in the Sporting KC midfield. The 30-year-old led the team in touches and key passes, and he completed 79.3 percent of his passes.
Through 10 matches in 2015, Feilhaber is averaging 2.5 key passes and 1.1 shots per game.
7. Sebastian Giovinco, AM, Toronto FC
Previous Ranking: 4
Sebastian Giovinco didn't exactly light the pitch on fire in his home debut.
The Italian recorded his second-highest shot total of the season, but he failed to put any of his six attempts on target.
Sunday's loss to Houston also marked the first time Giovinco did not put a shot on goal this season.
6. Octavio Rivero, FW, Vancouver Whitecaps
Previous Ranking: 8
It doesn't come as a total shock that Octavio Rivero ended his scoring drought against the Philadelphia Union.
Rivero found the back of the net for the first time since April 8 in the 44th minute of the Whitecaps' 3-0 home win over the Union.
Many were upset the goal actually counted since it appeared Rivero fouled Ethan White on his way to the goal.
5. Omar Gonzalez, CB, LA Galaxy
Previous Ranking: 5
Over the course of 180 minutes in Week 10, Omar Gonzalez and the LA Galaxy defense conceded on two occasions.
In Wednesday's goalless draw with Real Salt Lake, Gonzalez made 11 clearances, five tackles and four interceptions against a RSL side that took charge of the match.
Gonzalez was not directly responsible for conceding either of the second-half FC Dallas goals on Saturday at Toyota Stadium. In that match, Gonzalez made six clearances and committed two fouls.
4. Obafemi Martins, FW, Seattle Sounders
Previous Ranking: 1
Obafemi Martins lost his lead atop the Golden Boot standings in Week 10 after Dempsey and Kamara jumped over him.
The Nigerian almost scored in the 74th minute, but his shot from close distance was denied by Steve Clark before Dempsey slotted home the rebound.
That would turn out to be Martins' only shot on goal in Seattle's 3-2 loss at the hands of Columbus.
3. Fabian Castillo, AM, FC Dallas
Previous Ranking: 3
Fabian Castillo was not as dynamic as his teammate Diaz in the final third against the Galaxy, but he did turn in a decent showing on Saturday night.
The 22-year-old Colombian attempted the most shots of any FC Dallas player, and he put two of them on target.
In Week 11, Castillo will face a Red Bulls side he has never scored against in his career.
2. Kei Kamara, FW, Columbus Crew
Previous Ranking: 7
In the most exciting match of the weekend, Kei Kamara knocked home a pair of goals for the Crew.
Kamara nodded in Columbus' first goal in the 10th minute, and he slotted the ball past Stefan Frei in the 58th minute to climb atop the Golden Boot standings next to Dempsey.
Kamara's current tally of seven goals is already the fourth-highest total of his MLS career. He scored 11 for Sporting Kansas City in 2012.
1. Clint Dempsey, FW, Seattle Sounders
Previous Ranking: 2
Dempsey may not have scored the flashiest pair of goals in Seattle's loss to Columbus on Saturday night, but he was able to extend one of the most impressive streaks in world football.
The Seattle forward has been involved in a goal in each of his last nine regular-season contests in a Sounders uniform.
If you dig deeper, Dempsey has contributed either a goal or an assist in 17 of his last 18 regular-season games.
Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90.