MLS Player Rankings: Giovinco Claims Top Spot, Bruin Makes Big Debut
One player has been head and shoulders above everyone else in Major League Soccer over the last month.
Sebastian Giovinco has torn opposing defenses to shreds in the Toronto FC attack with Jozy Altidore out injured. The little Italian, who usually benefits from Michael Bradley's strong play in midfield, starred without Bradley and Altidore in the starting lineup in Week 14.
Elsewhere across the league, one in-form forward surged into the top 10 of our MLS Player Rankings after another impressive showing up top for his club.
Continue reading on to see which 20 players featured in the Week 14 edition of the MLS Player Rankings.
On the Way out
Injuries and the failure to influence a team's play at a certain position cost these four players a spot in the top 20.
Players Dropped Out of Rankings
Felipe (New York Red Bulls; Previous Ranking: 14)
Lloyd Sam (New York Red Bulls; 16)
Obafemi Martins (Seattle Sounders; 18)
Mauro Diaz (FC Dallas; 19)
20. Alvas Powell, RB, Portland Timbers
Previous Ranking: Not Ranked
When he first appeared in the top 20 after Week 9, we praised the defensive abilities of Alvas Powell.
Even though he has been out of the MLS Player Rankings for three weeks, Powell has still turned in some impressive performances in the Portland back line.
19. Laurent Ciman, CB, Montreal Impact
Previous Ranking: Not Ranked
One of the primary reasons the Montreal Impact have won four of their last five matches is the play of center back Laurent Ciman.
The Belgian, who leads the league with 5.3 interceptions per match, played a major role in Montreal's pair of Week 14 victories over Vancouver and Columbus.
Ciman is also averaging 7.7 clearances and 2.7 tackles per game in the Montreal defense.
18. Ethan Finlay, AM, Columbus Crew
Previous Ranking: 17
The co-league leader in assists did not turn in a productive week on the wing like most expected.
Ethan Finlay, who has torched the Philadelphia defense over the last year, failed to put a shot on goal in 65 minutes on Wednesday night at PPL Park.
During his 67 minutes on the field on Saturday, Finlay made just 21 touches against the Impact. Despite his poor week, we still hold Finlay in a higher regard than others because of his production throughout the entire season.
17. Osvaldo Alonso, CM, Seattle Sounders
Previous Ranking: 15
Osvaldo Alonso was one of a few stars missing from Saturday's Western Conference clash between the Seattle Sounders and Sporting Kansas City.
Alonso was suspended for the match after the MLS Disciplinary Committee ruled he used violent conduct against Felipe in Week 13's game against the Red Bulls.
16. David Villa, FW, New York City FC
Previous Ranking: 20
David Villa may not have scored in New York City FC's first-ever road victory, but he did produce strong numbers against Philadelphia on Saturday.
The Spaniard put two of his four shots on target and made three key passes in NYCFC's 2-1 win at PPL Park.
In his last four matches, Villa has put 10 of his 18 attempts on target.
15. Kaka, AM, Orlando City
Previous Ranking: 12
Just as we thought Kaka's form was ready to swing in the right direction for good, he left us wanting more in Orlando City's 3-2 win over the Chicago Fire.
In 88 minutes, the only notable stat produced by the Brazilian was his 55 touches. Other than that, he delivered a pedestrian showing in the final third.
While we are aware Kaka is human, we would like to see more out of him on a weekly basis.
14. Charlie Davies, FW, New England Revolution
Previous Ranking: 11
After stringing together a strong spell of form from April 19 to May 23, Charlie Davies hasn't sent a shot on target in the last two weeks.
The scorer of five goals in 2015 put himself on the radar for the United States Gold Cup roster, but the chances of him playing in the tournament are currently dwindling.
13. Michael Bradley, CM, Toronto FC
Previous Ranking: 13
Michael Bradley's status in the rankings did not change this week due to his time away on international duty.
As expected, Bradley was an absolute force in midfield for the USMNT in its win over the Netherlands on Wednesday.
With a off week ahead for Toronto FC, the next time we will see Bradley in red will be June 20 against NYCFC.
12. Giles Barnes, FW, Houston Dynamo
Previous Ranking: 10
Giles Barnes was overshadowed by his forward partner in Houston's 4-2 win over the Red Bulls on Friday night.
Barnes did take two shots, but neither of them challenged Luis Robles in the Red Bulls' net.
After running off a streak of eight matches with a shot on goal, Barnes has not recorded one in two of his last three contests.
11. David Accam, FW, Chicago Fire
Previous Ranking: Not Ranked
It appears the Chicago Fire's bad luck with designated players has officially run out.
Since the start of May, David Accam has been one of two high-paid Fire stars in the headlines for all the right reasons.
In the 57th minute of Chicago's loss to Orlando, Accam netted his third strike in four contests. He also earned his first-career assist in MLS on Kennedy Igboananike's ninth-minute opener at Toyota Park.
10. Omar Gonzalez, CB, LA Galaxy
Previous Ranking: 9
The stat sheet may say Omar Gonzalez and the Galaxy held Vancouver to one shot on target, but if you dig deeper, you will see a few instances where the center back struggled against Kekuta Manneh.
The good news for Gonzalez was Manneh and his Vancouver teammates were wasteful with their chances in the final third.
Gonzalez and the depleted Galaxy back four will face another difficult test when they visit Columbus in Week 15.
9. Fabian Castillo, AM, FC Dallas
Previous Ranking: 7
Fabian Castillo failed to make an impact off the bench in the chaotic 0-0 draw between FC Dallas and San Jose on Sunday.
In his 31 minutes on the pitch, Castillo made 16 touches and fired one attempt off target. The numbers are a bit shocking considering the field was wide open by the end of the contest thanks to three red cards dished out by referee Baldomero Toledo.
A major test awaits the slumping FC Dallas squad in Week 15, as they make a trip to CenturyLink Field to play the Sounders.
8. Krisztian Nemeth, FW, Sporting Kansas City
Previous Ranking: 8
Krisztian Nemeth earned a well-deserved call-up to the Hungary squad for the matches against Lithuania and Finland.
His presence in the Hungary setup forced him out of Sporting KC's clash with Seattle on Saturday, but he will not miss any more matches because of the club's bye week in Week 15.
7. Octavio Rivero, FW, Vancouver Whitecaps
Previous Ranking: 6
As we noted earlier when talking about Gonzalez, the Vancouver attack failed to finish off most of their chances in their 1-0 victory at StubHub Center.
The one chance that produced something significant handed Octavio Rivero his second assist of the season. Rivero played a terrific pass to the feet of Manneh, who then fooled Gonzalez on his way to goal.
Saturday's assist marked the first time in five weeks in which Rivero contributed to a Whitecaps goal.
6. Will Bruin, FW, Houston Dynamo
Previous Ranking: Not Ranked
It's about time we show some love to one of the hottest forwards in the league at the moment.
Will Bruin scored his sixth and seventh goals of the season in Houston's 4-2 romp over the Red Bulls at BBVA Compass Stadium.
The brace was the second in four weeks for the forward, who has recorded six goals and one assist in his last five matches.
5. Chris Wondolowski, FW, San Jose Earthquakes
Previous Ranking: 5
Among the tumultuous climate created by the referee at Avaya Stadium on Sunday, Chris Wondolowski put one of his five attempts on goal.
Wondolowski recorded the same totals in his first game of the season against FC Dallas on March 7. The five shots were his second-highest number this year behind his six versus Columbus.
Like a few other stars on the list, Wondolowski will receive a week off to rest up in Week 15.
4. Clint Dempsey, FW, Seattle Sounders
Previous Ranking: 3
Clint Dempsey missed out on Seattle's road trip to Kansas City, and the USMNT's friendly against the Netherlands, due to the birth of his fourth child.
The only reason we dropped Dempsey one spot this week is because he would have been inactive in league play regardless of his situation.
Due to that and the production of the player one spot above him, we slipped him down to No. 4 for now.
3. Benny Feilhaber, CM, Sporting Kansas City
Previous Ranking: 4
Benny Feilhaber was the beneficiary of a controversial penalty call on Saturday night, as he stepped to the spot and handed Sporting KC a win at home.
The penalty was awarded after forward Dom Dwyer collided with Seattle goalkeeper Stefan Frei while fighting for a 50-50 ball in the box.
Sporting KC ended up on the right side of the call, which allowed Feilhaber to finish his fifth goal of the season into the back of the net.
In his last four matches, Feilhaber has added three goals to his league-leading assist total of seven.
2. Kei Kamara, FW, Columbus Crew
Previous Ranking: 1
Golden Boot leader Kei Kamara was extremely active against Montreal on Saturday, but he was not accurate in front of goal.
Two of Kamara's 10 shots hit the target in the Crew's 2-1 defeat at the hands of the Impact. If he would've put a few more of those attempts on goal, Columbus could've pulled out at least a point.
The good news, if there is any, for Kamara and the Crew is Saturday showed just how confident he is feeling in the final third. Based off his output so far this season, he will get back to scoring goals quite soon.
1. Sebastian Giovinco, AM, Toronto FC
Previous Ranking: 2
How good has Giovinco been over the last month?
Good enough for us to start running out of superlatives, and it's only June. Imagine the compliments we will shower the Italian with if he keeps up his current pace for the entire season.
The masterful attacking magician scored both of Toronto FC's goals in the win over D.C. United at RFK Stadium on Saturday.
Since the start of May, Giovinco has four goals on 17 shots on target as well as three assists.
Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90.