MLS Player Rankings: 4 LA Galaxy Players Feature, Pair of Earthquakes Debut

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistAugust 25, 2015

MLS Player Rankings: 4 LA Galaxy Players Feature, Pair of Earthquakes Debut

0 of 21

    Victor Decolongon/Getty Images

    The one team in Major League Soccer that everyone is watching right now is the LA Galaxy. With Robbie Keane and Giovani Dos Santos firing on all cylinders up top, the Galaxy seem like they are set to win their sixth MLS Cup in December. 

    However, Keane and Dos Santos aren't the only stars putting in impressive work on the pitch of late, as two of their teammates also join them in the MLS Player Rankings after Week 25. 

    The other red-hot team in California, the San Jose Earthquakes, also made a splash on the list of the league's top 20 players this week, as both of their forwards entered the list. 

    Our player rankings take into account form over the last four matches, with the player's most recent performance holding more stock than the other three. 

    Continue reading to see who joined the six stars from the California clubs in the latest MLS Player Rankings.

On the Way Out

1 of 21

    Ted S. Warren/Associated Press

    For the fourth time this season, six or more players were knocked out of the MLS Player Rankings. The high turnover rate after Week 25 was caused by lack of production from the outgoing sextet and plenty of impressive performances from the incoming six. 

    Players Dropped Out of Rankings

    Cyle Larin (Orlando City; Previous Ranking: 11) 

    Kaka (Orlando City; 14)

    Kevin Ellis (Sporting Kansas City; 16) 

    Chris Rolfe (D.C. United; 17)

    Adam Kwarasey (Portland Timbers; 18)

    Alvas Powell (Portland Timbers; 19)

20. Sebastien Le Toux, AM, Philadelphia Union

2 of 21

    Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports

    Previous Ranking: Not Ranked 

    The Philadelphia Union are somehow still in contention for a play-off spot in the Eastern Conference, thanks Sebastien Le Toux's recent output. 

    The club's fan favorite scored the Union's lone goal on Saturday, in a vital 1-0 road win over Montreal at Stade Saputo. 

    Le Toux has contributed to a Union goal in each of the last five contests, a streak that includes goals in four of his last five matches. 

19. Quincy Amarikwa, FW, San Jose Earthquakes

3 of 21

    Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

    Previous Ranking: Not Ranked 

    Since his arrival in the Bay Area in late June, Quincy Amarikwa has helped turn the San Jose Earthquakes into a play-off contender. 

    While he may not have had the most impressive numbers of any Earthquakes player during their two wins in Week 25, Amarikwa was arguably the most valuable man on the field. 

    Amarikwa's pace and ability to find space in the final third were on full display against Sporting Kansas City and D.C. United, as he allowed Chris Wondolowski and Shea Salinas to open up both matches with less attention on them. 

    The forward, who recorded one assist in 14 matches in his time with Chicago this season, already has four goals and three assists in eight starts for San Jose.

18. Ethan Finlay, RM, Columbus Crew

4 of 21

    Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

    Previous Ranking: 20

    After clinging onto his position in the top 20 last week, Ethan Finlay is up two spots following a productive week in the Columbus Crew midfield. 

    In the 24th minute of the Crew's 2-2 draw with New York City FC on Wednesday, Finlay picked up his 13th assist on a Kei Kamara goal. 

    Three days later, Finlay netted his first goal since July 25 in the 3-2 win over Sporting Kansas City. Finlay is now three strikes away from tying his career high of 11 set in 2014.

17. Kendall Waston, CB, Vancouver Whitecaps

5 of 21

    Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

    Previous Ranking: Not Ranked

    Kendall Waston forced his way back into the list this week with a commanding performance at the back for Vancouver in its 1-0 win over FC Dallas. 

    In the Western Conference showdown, the Costa Rican made nine clearances and four interceptions while holding the dynamic FC Dallas attack to two shots on goal. 

    It was a statement win for the Whitecaps, who continue to make noise against quality opponents, while the LA Galaxy steal the national headlines. Vancouver is one point behind the Galaxy in the Western Conference and Supporters' Shield standings entering Week 26.

16. Michael Bradley, CM, Toronto FC

6 of 21

    Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

    Previous Ranking: Not Ranked

    It comes as no surprise to us that Michael Bradley had a terrific afternoon in the final third against Orlando City's weak back four. 

    Bradley recorded three assists in Toronto's 5-0 rout of Orlando City at BMO Field on Saturday, and he dominated the midfield battle against Kaka, Cristian Higuita and Servando Carrasco. 

    The United States international was one of seven Toronto field players who started to record a pass accuracy of over 90 percent, and he contributed three tackles on the defensive side of the pitch.

15. Matias Laba, CDM, Vancouver Whitecaps

7 of 21

    Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

    Previous Ranking: 15 

    Matias Laba put in an average but effective 90-minute shift in the defensive midfield for Vancouver on Saturday night at BC Place. 

    Together with midfield partner Gershon Koffie, who had a slightly better match, Laba was able to shut down most of the passing lanes the FC Dallas attack likes to use when it tries to open up opposing defenses. 

    The Whitecaps' late-season fitness will be tested in the next week as they play in the second leg of the Canadian Championship final versus Montreal before dealing with the Texas heat against Houston on Saturday.

14. Giovani Dos Santos, FW, LA Galaxy

8 of 21

    Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

    Previous Ranking: Not Ranked

    As if the LA Galaxy needed another dimension to their attack, Giovani Dos Santos has created that since his arrival from Villarreal. 

    The Mexico international once again dazzled up top next to Keane in Week 25, as the Galaxy easily deconstructed the NYCFC back four. 

    In two of his three league starts for the Galaxy, Dos Santos has a goal and an assist.

13. Chris Wondolowski, FW, San Jose Earthquakes

9 of 21

    Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

    Previous Ranking: Not Ranked

    How good was Chris Wondolowski's week? By the end of it, we forgot all about his miss against Sporting Kansas City that brought back the haunting memories of the World Cup loss to Belgium.

    All Wondolowski did to make up for the brutal miss is score on a leaping header that was one of the best strikes of the week minutes later.

    With his three goals in Week 25, Wondolowski moved into double digits in goals for the sixth consecutive season and netted his 100th-career tally for the Earthquakes.

12. Juninho, CM, LA Galaxy

10 of 21

    Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

    Previous Ranking: 12

    The unsung hero of the LA Galaxy starting lineup continued his consistent season in the blowout win over NYCFC on Sunday. 

    Juninho recorded the most touches of any Galaxy player with 68 and completed 91.9 percent of his 62 passes in the Bruce Arena side's dominant victory. 

    With Juninho combining well with Steven Gerrard in midfield and the stars at the other positions shining in recent weeks, it is hard to find a weakness in the Galaxy squad at the moment.

11. Bradley Wright-Phillips, FW, New York Red Bulls

11 of 21

    Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports

    Previous Ranking: 10 

    Bradley Wright-Phillips and the New York Red Bulls enjoyed some time off this week before they play twice in Week 26. 

    After they take on Chicago on Wednesday, the Red Bulls will focus all of their attention on the crucial rivalry clash with D.C. United, whom they trail by five points in the race for the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference.

10. Cristian Maidana, AM, Philadelphia Union

12 of 21

    Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

    Previous Ranking: 9

    Cristian Maidana experienced a major drop-off in production in Week 25 compared to his superb Week 24 output for the Philadelphia Union. 

    The Argentine was quiet for most of the Union's win over Montreal on Saturday night, as he only dished out one key pass, despite making a team high 66 touches. 

    Maidana will be called upon to star in Week 26 as Jim Curtin's side look to upset New England at home and continue their surge toward the play-offs.

9. Matt Miazga, CB, New York Red Bulls

13 of 21

    Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports

    Previous Ranking: 8

    After another unexpected bye week, Matt Miazga will look to shut down the playmakers in the Chicago and D.C. attacks in Week 26. 

    The 20-year-old, who is third in the league in aerials won per game and first in clearances per contest, will face off against Harry Shipp and Gilberto on Wednesday before trying to silence the wily veterans in the D.C. United lineup on Sunday.

8. Dax McCarty, CM, New York Red Bulls

14 of 21

    Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

    Previous Ranking: 7

    A fresh Dax McCarty will be a part of one of the top midfield battles next week in the Atlantic Cup contest with the Red Bulls' main rival D.C.

    McCarty will be asked to win the showdown against young USMNT enforcer Perry Kitchen and veteran Davy Arnaud in order to bring the Red Bulls closer to the Eastern Conference's No. 1 spot.

7. Sebastian Lletget, AM, LA Galaxy

15 of 21

    Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

    Previous Ranking: 13 

    Despite all the success he's had since joining the LA Galaxy from West Ham United, Sebastian Lletget remains the most underrated player in the Galaxy squad. 

    The 22-year-old American, who needs to receive a call from Jurgen Klinsmann sooner rather than later, scored his seventh goal of the season and handed out his second assist of 2015 in the rout of NYCFC. 

    Thanks to his superb play on the wing, the Galaxy are not missing the departed Stefan Ishizaki on the pitch like many thought they would.

6. Benny Feilhaber, CM, Sporting Kansas City

16 of 21

    Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

    Previous Ranking: 3

    Benny Feilhaber experienced his worst week of the season at the worst possible time for Sporting Kansas City. 

    Feilhaber was sent off during the disastrous 5-0 loss at home to San Jose that marked the end of the club's unbeaten run at home in 2015. 

    Due to his one-game suspension, Feilhaber was unable to contribute in any fashion against Columbus on Saturday.

    After his side picked up zero points in two matches in Week 25, Feilhaber will look to lead Sporting KC to a win in Week 26 at Dick's Sporting Goods Park versus Colorado.

5. Javier Morales, CAM, Real Salt Lake

17 of 21

    Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

    Previous Ranking: 6

    With Javier Morales at the helm of the attack, Real Salt Lake turned in their most complete performance of the season in their 2-0 win over Seattle. 

    Morales scored from the spot to open the scoring in the 12th minute, and he dished out three key passes while making 110 touches on Saturday night. 

    Through 19 league contests, Morales is averaging 3.6 key passes and 1.8 shots per match.

4. Sebastian Giovinco, FW, Toronto FC

18 of 21

    Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

    Previous Ranking: 4

    Sebastian Giovinco may not have been the best Toronto FC player on the field Saturday, but he did contribute a goal and an assist in the victory over Orlando City. 

    In the 57th minute of the clash at BMO Field, Giovinco fired a terrific free-kick into the top part of the net to put the Reds ahead by two goals. He earned his 12th assist of the year on a give-and-go with Michael Bradley that set up Justin Morrow's 71st-minute strike. 

    Although he is near the top of the league leaderboard in goals and assists, Giovinco only has four goals in five games in August, all of which have come against Orlando City.

3. Kei Kamara, FW, Columbus Crew

19 of 21

    Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

    Previous Ranking: 5

    Kei Kamara kept his one-goal lead over Giovinco in the Golden Boot race with a 24th-minute opener in the 2-2 draw with NYCFC on Wednesday. 

    On Saturday, Kamara returned the favor to Ethan Finlay in the 35th minute of the win over Sporting Kansas City. His seventh assist of 2015 did come with a bit of controversy as he appeared to be offside in the buildup to the goal. 

    Kamara will receive another chance to wreak havoc on the NYCFC back four in Week 26, as the Crew travel to Yankee Stadium for a Saturday afternoon match.

2. David Villa, FW, New York City FC

20 of 21

    Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

    Previous Ranking: 2

    The lone designated player who is actually pulling his own weight at NYCFC was able to leave StubHub Center with a consolation goal from the spot in the second half. 

    David Villa, who seems more frustrated with the lack of activity from others in the NYCFC attack by the week, attempted 17 shots in matches against Columbus and LA in Week 25. If he had more support around him, the Spaniard might have been able to work on creating for others. But for now, Villa is one of the few creators in the final third for Jason Kreis' club. 

    Until Andrea Pirlo begins to show more effort and Frank Lampard actually starts a game, Villa will carry all of the pressure that comes with being a big name in MLS on his shoulders.

1. Robbie Keane, FW, LA Galaxy

21 of 21

    Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

    Previous Ranking: 1

    There are two ways to deal with Robbie Keane at the moment: get out of the way and let him score or get run over by a freight train in an attempt to defend him. 

    Keane is the hottest player in MLS, and he is showing no signs of slowing down as the regular season reaches its most critical juncture. 

    In the demolition of the NYCFC defense on Sunday, Keane contributed to four of the five Galaxy goals through two goals and two assists. 

    The Most Valuable Player candidate has 15 goals and seven assists in 17 games for the Galaxy. 

    Joe Tansey covers MLS for Bleacher Report. You can follow him on Twitter, @JTansey90.

    All statistics obtained from MLSSoccer.com and WhoScored.com.