MLS Player Rankings: Piatti, Plata and Giovinco Rise to Top After Week 2

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistMarch 15, 2016

MLS Player Rankings: Piatti, Plata and Giovinco Rise to Top After Week 2

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    Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

    The tremendous attacking displays witnessed in Major League Soccer in the opening week of play carried over to Week 2 as only five teams recorded clean sheetstwo of which were in one game. 

    Due to the terrific start by the attack-minded players across the United States and Canada, the majority of the players on the list of the league's 20 best in-form stars are strikers. 

    As expected, we saw a good amount of early-season movement in the top 20. Only a few of the standout performers from Week 1 were able to keep high positions in our weekly MLS Player Rankings. 

    Our player rankings are a cumulative list that take into account play over a specific time span. Until the second month of the season begins, we'll base our current list off matches from March only. 

    Continue reading to see which 20 players were named to the Week 2 edition of the MLS Player Rankings.

On the Way out

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    Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press

    As expected, there was plenty of movement up and down the top 20 after Week 2.

    The high-scoring start to the season cost seven defensive-minded players a spot on this week's list. We're sure once things calm down and defenses become more organized, some of these names will return. 

    Players Dropped out of Rankings

    Diego Chara, Portland Timbers (Previous Ranking: 10) 

    David Bingham, San Jose Earthquakes (12) 

    Marvell Wynne, San Jose Earthquakes (13) 

    Steven Beitashour, Toronto FC (14) 

    Matt Besler, Sporting Kansas City (16)

    Walker Zimmerman, FC Dallas (18) 

    Ashley Cole, LA Galaxy (20)

20. Tim Melia, GK, Sporting Kansas City

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    Ted S. Warren/Associated Press

    Previous Ranking: 8

    Tim Melia followed up his stellar Week 1 with a nice showing in between the pipes for Sporting Kansas City in their home opener on Saturday. 

    The 29-year-old netminder made three saves in Sporting KC's 2-1 win over the Vancouver Whitecaps, but he conceded a second-half penalty.

    Melia's drop has to do with him conceding once and other players surging up the list thanks to superb Week 2 matches.

19. Mike Magee, FW, LA Galaxy

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    David Zalubowski/Associated Press

    Previous Ranking: 1

    Last week's top man fell 18 spots due to a lackluster showing in place of the injured Giovani Dos Santos on Saturday night. 

    Mike Magee only touched the ball on 23 occasions in the Galaxy's 1-0 defeat to the Colorado Rapids, but he remains on the list thanks his impeccable second half in the opener against D.C. United. 

    Magee's performance may have been bad, but at least it wasn't as awful as Robbie Keane's. The Republic of Ireland international only had 14 touches in 90 minutes.

18. Mauro Diaz, CAM, FC Dallas

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    Scott Halleran/Getty Images

    Previous Ranking: 11

    The scoreline suggests everyone in a FC Dallas shirt had a brutal 90 minutes in the 5-0 Texas Derby loss to Houston at BBVA Compass Stadium.

    However, Mauro Diaz had a respectable 90 minutes in the middle of the dynamic FC Dallas attack. The 25-year-old Argentine handed out two key passes, attempted four shots and had the most touches of any FC Dallas player with 75. 

    Although positives were hard to come by in Week 2, Oscar Pareja's side can take solace in Diaz's solid performance in a lopsided defeat.

17. Chris Wondolowski, FW, San Jose Earthquakes

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    Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

    Previous Ranking: Not Ranked

    There are very few certainties in MLS, but one of them is Chris Wondolowski finding the back of the net. 

    One of the most consistent forwards in league history scored for the second consecutive week in San Jose's 2-1 win over Portland to close out the Week 2 slate. 

    The United States international is three goals behind Ante Razov for fourth place on the all-time MLS scoring chart. Given his strike rate, Wondolowski should overtake Razov by the end of April.

16. Chris Pontius, LM, Philadelphia Union

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    Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

    Previous Ranking: Not Ranked

    Chris Pontius scored his first brace since June 24, 2012, in Philadelphia's shock win at Mapfre Stadium over the Columbus Crew. 

    The offseason acquisition from D.C. United was in the right place at the right time in the 45th and 71st minutes as he finished off a pair of attacking moves that were created out of nothing. 

    The 28-year-old midfielder, who suffered from injury issues in parts of his last three seasons in D.C., scored a combined six goals from 2013 to 2015. 

15. Dom Dwyer, FW, Sporting Kansas City

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    John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

    Previous Ranking: Not Ranked 

    Before Quincy Amarikwa scored a beautiful chip on Sunday, Dom Dwyer had the goal-of-the-week award locked up with his stunning opener at Children's Mercy Park. 

    The English forward followed up his impressive fifth-minute strike with a tap-in from the left side of the box in the 41st minute. 

    The brace was the first for Dwyer since he bagged two goals against Toronto FC on August 16, 2014.

14. David Villa, FW, New York City FC

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    Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

    Previous Ranking: Not Ranked 

    David Villa opened his 2016 account on Sunday in the four-goal affair between New York City FC and Toronto FC at Yankee Stadium. 

    The Spanish legend scored once from the spot and cleaned up a mess in the box to hand NYCFC a two-goal advantage 28 minutes into the contest. 

    The two-goal performance was the fifth of Villa's brief MLS career that started on March 8, 2015.

13. Will Bruin, FW, Houston Dynamo

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    Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports

    Previous Ranking: Not Ranked 

    A week after contributing two assists in front of the home crowd at BBVA Compass Stadium, Will Bruin netted his first strike of the season in the blowout win over FC Dallas. 

    Bruin capped the impressive team performance with his 85th-minute tally as he made contact with the ball to get around Jesse Gonzalez before slotting it into the back of the net from close range. 

    The tally was the first for Bruin in five regular-season matches. Dating back to August 21, 2015, he has three goals and three assists in 12 games.

12. Andre Blake, GK, Philadelphia Union

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    Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

    Previous Ranking: Not Ranked 

    The Philadelphia Union staff must be happy Andre Blake stayed around during the goalkeeping debacle that lasted during parts of his first two seasons at the club. 

    The No. 1 overall pick in the 2014 MLS SuperDraft preserved a 2-1 Union victory with a pair of key denials on Justin Meram in Columbus on Saturday night. 

    After two weeks, the Jamaica international leads the league with 14 saves.

11. Thomas McNamara, CM, New York City FC

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    Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

    Previous Ranking: 5

    Cult hero Thomas McNamara didn't shine on Sunday as much as he did in Week 1, but he was able to create a goal in the 24th minute. The 25-year-old set up Villa's penalty when he was fouled in the box by Marco Delgado. 

    Outside of earning the first-half spot kick, McNamara didn't do much in the final third as he only made 40 touches and failed to put a shot on target. 

    During his 76-minute shift, McNamara took a back seat to teammates Mix Diskerud and Andrea Pirlo, who both had solid games.

10. Diego Fagundez, AM, New England Revolution

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    Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

    Previous Ranking: 4

    New England Revolution midfielder Diego Fagundez may not have added to his season totals in goals and assists on Saturday, but it wasn't without a lack of trying.

    The 21-year-old Uruguayan was one of three Revolution players to dish out three key passes in the scoreless draw with D.C. United. 

    Fagundez will look to improve on his one strike and two handouts from Week 1 on Sunday against Philadelphia.

9. Mix Diskerud, CM, New York City FC

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    John Raoux/Associated Press

    Previous Ranking: 19

    Before you get all excited about Mix Diskerud turning around his disappointing MLS career to date, remember he started strong in his first season at NYCFC as well.

    Diskerud topped his assist total from 2015 on Sunday with his helper on Villa's 28th-minute tally at Yankee Stadium. 

    One thing to worry about the 25-year-old, who has one goal and two assists so far in 2016, is his passing percentage from Sunday. Diskerud only completed 56.3 percent of his 32 passes in the 2-2 draw versus Toronto FC.

8. Dominic Oduro, FW, Montreal Impact

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    Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

    Previous Ranking: 17

    Maybe this is the season we finally stop ridiculing Dominic Oduro for his lack of finishing. 

    The speedy forward opened the scoring for Montreal on Saturday as he slotted in a shot from the left side of the box after Red Bulls defender Gideon Baah turned the ball over in his own half. 

    The tally was the second of the season for Oduro, who had to wait until June 20 last season to record goal No. 2.

7. Juan Manuel Martinez, AM, Real Salt Lake

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    Kim Raff/Associated Press

    Previous Ranking: 15

    The hustle of Juan Manuel Martinez helped Real Salt Lake earn a late victory over Seattle in the club's home opener on Saturday. 

    The playmaker known as "Burrito" tracked down an errant free-kick in the 86th minute and played a cross back into the box, where Jamison Olave outjumped Tyler Miller to score the winning strike. 

    Martinez has been a vital part of the RSL attack through 180 minutes thanks to his relentless work rate.

6. Cyle Larin, FW, Orlando City

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    Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

    Previous Ranking: 9

    Orlando City fans should enjoy the exploits of Cyle Larin while it lasts because he won't be in MLS for long if he keeps scoring. 

    The No. 1 overall pick in the 2015 MLS SuperDraft notched his second tally of the season in the fourth minute on Friday night after he made his way around a few defenders in the box. 

    In two matches, the Canada international has two strikes on five attempts on target as well as an assist.

5. Andrew Wenger, RM, Houston Dynamo

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    Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

    Previous Ranking: Not Ranked 

    The highest entrant after Week 2 is more than deserving of his spot near the top of the list. 

    Andrew Wenger delivered a beautiful cross from the right wing in the sixth minute to David Horst to start Houston's blowout win over FC Dallas. 

    When the half-time whistle sounded, the top selection in the 2012 MLS SuperDraft had a goal and two assists to his name. Wenger's total from Saturday matched his production for the entire 2015 season while he was with Philadelphia.

4. David Accam, FW, Chicago Fire

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    Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

    Previous Ranking: 7

    David Accam showed off his terrific speed in the 14th minute on Friday night as he jetted past the Orlando City defense en route to his second goal of the year. 

    The impressive strike came five days after the 25-year-old contributed a tally and an assist in the season opener against NYCFC. 

    The one drop off experienced by Accam in Week 2 came in the shots on goal category. The Ghanaian forward only sent one attempt on target after putting five on net in Week 1.

3. Sebastian Giovinco, FW, Toronto FC

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    Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

    Previous Ranking: 6

    Sebastian Giovinco helped Toronto FC overcome a two-goal deficit at Yankee Stadium on Sunday.

    The Atomic Ant pulled the Reds within one of the hosts in first-half stoppage time as his free-kick found Damien Perquis in the middle of the box. 

    The Italy international, who is making a great case to earn a spot on the Azzurri's UEFA Euro 2016 roster, leveled the contest with his second strike of the year in the 76th minute. 

    Giovinco has played a role in each of the four tallies netted by the Reds in 2016. 

2. Joao Plata, FW, Real Salt Lake

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    Jeff Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

    Previous Ranking: 3

    Joao Plata has also played a role in each of the club's goals through two matches. 

    The Ecuadorian helped the Claret and Cobalt tie Seattle in the 43rd minute on Saturday as his corner kick found the head of Sunday Stephen Obayan in the penalty area. 

    Plata's free-kick in the 86th minute was poor to begin with, but thanks to the hustle of Martinez, he picked up a secondary assist on Olave's game-winner.

1. Ignacio Piatti, CAM, Montreal Impact

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    Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

    Previous Ranking: 2

    An argument can be made that Ignacio Piatti is the most valuable player on the Montreal Impact roster, not Didier Drogba. 

    The dynamic midfielder showed off his playmaking skills for the second consecutive week in Montreal's 3-0 victory over the Red Bulls. 

    Piatti started the move that led to Oduro's opener and scored his third goal of the season in the 71st minute. 

    Thanks to the early contributions of the Argentine, the Impact are one of three sides with perfect records after Week 2. 

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

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