MLS Player Rankings: Plata Stays Top, Wondo, Adi, Dwyer Surge into Top 10

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistApril 12, 2016

MLS Player Rankings: Plata Stays Top, Wondo, Adi, Dwyer Surge into Top 10

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    Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports

    Week 6 certainly wasn't the flashiest week of the Major League Soccer season to date, but it saw a few big-name attackers score meaningful tallies. 

    Five of the top seven players in our latest Bleacher Report MLS Player Rankings found the back of the net over the weekend. 

    Due to the absence of some stars from the pitches across the United States and Canada in Week 6, we witnessed plenty of fluctuation in the top 10. 

    Our player rankings take into account the last four performances of everyone in MLS, with the most recent showing carrying the most importance.

    Continue reading to see which 20 players secured a spot on our list of the best in-form players in MLS. 

On the Way out

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    Dips in form, injuries and poor performances in Week 6 cost these seven players a spot on this week's list.

    Players Dropped out of Rankings (Team; Previous Ranking)

    Maximiliano Urruti (FC Dallas; 13) 

    Andrew Wenger (Houston Dynamo; 14) 

    David Ousted (Vancouver Whitecaps; 16)

    Marco Pappa (Colorado Rapids; 17)

    Cristian Higuita (Orlando City; 18)

    Michael Barrios (FC Dallas; 19)

    Thomas McNamara (New York City FC; 20) 

20. Quincy Amarikwa, FW, San Jose Earthquakes

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    Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

    Previous Ranking: Not Ranked 

    Quincy Amarikwa and the San Jose Earthquakes are going to surprise a good number of people with their play in 2016. 

    In Week 6, the 28-year-old forward dished out two assists in San Jose's 2-2 draw at Toyota Stadium vs. FC Dallas. 

    Although Chris Wondolowski is getting most of the spotlight for his play up top, Amarikwa hasn't had a bad start to the season, with one goal and three assists in five contests. 

19. Nuno Andre Coelho, CB, Sporting Kansas City

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    Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

    Previous Ranking: Not Ranked 

    Sporting Kansas City center back Nuno Andre Coelho deserves more credit than he's getting for his strong start to his first MLS season. 

    Despite playing alongside a revolving door of partners in the middle of defense, Coelho has rarely made a bad decision during the first six weeks of the season. 

    The 30-year-old Portuguese defender is averaging 3.6 interceptions and 1.2 blocks per game. 

18. Fabian Espindola, FW, D.C. United

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    Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

    Previous Ranking: Not Ranked 

    D.C. United received a massive boost on Saturday as veteran forwards Fabian Espindola and Alvaro Saborio each bagged a brace. 

    Espindola netted the first two tallies for the Black and Red in their 4-0 victory over Vancouver at RFK Stadium. 

    The 30-year-old Argentinian, who has three goals from nine attempts on target in 2016, put all six of his shots on goal in Week 6. 

17. Tim Melia, GK, Sporting Kansas City

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    Previous Ranking: Not Ranked 

    Just like his teammate Coelho, Tim Melia's absence from the top 20 didn't last long. 

    The Sporting Kansas City netminder made six saves in his side's 2-0 victory at Red Bull Arena on Saturday night. 

    Over the last two weeks, the American goalkeeper has turned away 12 of the 14 attempts sent in his direction. 

16. Laurent Ciman, CB, Montreal Impact

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    Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

    Previous Ranking: Not Ranked 

    Based on 180 minutes in Montreal, the Impact may be one of the toughest team to score on at home. 

    Montreal recorded its second clean sheet and third win of the season on Saturday with a 2-0 victory over the Columbus Crew. 

    Belgian center back Laurent Ciman has played a big role in helping the Impact reach first place in the Eastern Conference. He is fourth in MLS in interceptions per game, with 4.8, and second in clearances, with seven per match. 

15. C.J. Sapong, FW, Philadelphia Union

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    Derik Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

    Previous Ranking: Not Ranked

    The forward position requires much more than just scoring goals, and Philadelphia's C.J. Sapong has proved that through five matches in 2016. 

    In addition to finding the back of the net for the third time this season on Friday, Sapong did all the dirty work in the final third to help create opportunities as the Union pushed for a game-winner that eventually came in the 90th minute. 

    The 27-year-old has been one of the most reliable players in the league on both sides of the ball, and he's played a massive role in Philadelphia's early success. 

14. Osvaldo Alonso, CM, Seattle Sounders

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    Previous Ranking: 15

    Although he wasn't as dominant as he has in Week 5, Osvaldo Alonso still produced a successful shift in the middle of the park for the Seattle Sounders on Sunday. 

    The 30-year-old central midfielder recorded 91 touches to go along with his 88.9 pass completion percentage. 

    Alonso also added five tackles and four clearances to the Seattle cause in the 1-1 draw with Houston at BBVA Compass Stadium.

13. Mauro Diaz, AM, FC Dallas

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    Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

    Previous Ranking: 4

    Mauro Diaz missed out on his second consecutive FC Dallas match on Saturday night. 

    The owner of one goal and four assists has looked on from the sidelines due to an undisclosed injury, per the MLS injury report

    In the two matches without Diaz, FC Dallas have dropped four points at home. 

12. Will Bruin, FW, Houston Dynamo

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    Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

    Previous Ranking: 6

    We may have jinxed Will Bruin with a high position on this list after his two-goal showing on March 19 at Red Bull Arena. 

    Since netting his first brace of the season, Bruin has failed to strike the back of the net against Vancouver and Seattle. 

    In Sunday's draw with Seattle, the 26-year-old put two of his four shots on target for a Houston team that has one point in its last three games.

11. Pedro Morales, CM, Vancouver Whitecaps

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    Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

    Previous Ranking: 7

    Pedro Morales was unable to extend his lead atop the Golden Boot standings in Week 6 due to a left hip strain, per the MLS injury report. 

    The 30-year-old scored four goals in three games before leaving the match against the LA Galaxy in Week 5 after 19 minutes. 

    Since becoming the first player to hit four tallies in 2016, Morales has been joined by three others. 

10. Cyle Larin, FW, Orlando City

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    Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

    Previous Ranking: 3

    Continuing with our theme of injured players on the list, Cyle Larin drops seven positions after sitting out Friday's match with Philadelphia.

    Without Larin in the lineup, Orlando City manager Adrian Heath opted to play Kaka as a false nine in an attempt to get a point on the road. Unfortunately, that plan didn't work out for the Lions, as they fell 2-1 to the Union. 

9. Diego Valeri, AM, Portland Timbers

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    Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

    Previous Ranking: 10

    All everyone wanted to talk about at the conclusion of Sunday's Galaxy-Timbers game was the harsh challenge that Nigel de Jong delivered on Darlington Nagbe. 

    But if you look deeper into the match, you'll find a good number of players on both teams turned in decent performances . 

    Diego Valeri handed out three key passes and earned an assist on Fanendo Adi's opener during the 1-1 draw at StubHub Center. The 29-year-old leads the league with five key passes per game. 

8. Kaka, AM, Orlando City

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    Derik Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

    Previous Ranking: 8

    Kaka didn't have to record a shot on goal to make an impact from his false No. 9 role on Friday night. 

    The 33-year-old forward combined well with winger Adrian Winter for long stretches of the match at Talen Energy Stadium. 

    The Orlando City star finished the game with four shots and three key passes. He is also averaging 3.5 shots and key passes per contest. 

7. Dom Dwyer, FW, Sporting Kansas City

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    Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

    Previous Ranking: Not Ranked

    We've talked a lot about how well the defenders in the Sporting KC squad are playing at the moment, but the forwards have also contributed a ton to the 4-1-0 start.

    Dom Dwyer added a goal and an assist to his season totals on Saturday in the win over the New York Red Bulls. 

    The 25-year-old Englishman has three goals and two assists over 450 minutes of play for the best team in MLS.

6. Sebastian Giovinco, FW, Toronto FC

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    Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

    Previous Ranking: 11

    Sebastian Giovinco broke his two-game scoreless streak with a 58th-minute goal in Toronto FC's draw with the New England Revolution. 

    Even though he found the back of the net on Saturday, the Atomic Ant has only put two of his 10 shots on goal in the last two games. 

    Usually a fairly casual one-goal performance doesn't warrant a jump of five spots, but Giovinco moved up this high because three of last week's top seven did not feature in Week 6. 

5. Andre Blake, GK, Philadelphia Union

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    Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

    Previous Ranking: 9

    Andre Blake only made two saves on Friday night, but his second denial was a critical one. 

    The No. 1 overall pick in the 2014 MLS SuperDraft kept the Union in the lead just seconds after they regained a one-goal advantage in their home stadium.

    The Jamaica international leaped in the air near the right post and stopped Adrian Winter's shot to keep Philadelphia near the top of the Eastern Conference standings for another week. 

4. Fanendo Adi, FW, Portland Timbers

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    Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

    Previous Ranking: 12

    Not only has Fanendo Adi been in fine form since the start of the regular season, he's consistently struck the back of the net since the end of September.

    The Nigerian netted his 10th goal in his last 10 regular-season matches in Portland's road draw with the Galaxy. 

    Six of the tallies from the co-Golden Boot leader after Week 6 have come from braces. 

3. Chris Wondolowski, FW, San Jose Earthquakes

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    Previous Ranking: 5

    When you have a discussion about consistency in MLS, Chris Wondolowski's name usually comes up right away. 

    The 33-year-old moved into a four-way tie atop the Golden Boot standings with his fourth goal in five matches on Saturday night. 

    The United States international has also been efficient with his attempts in front of the net. His four strikes have come off six shots on goal. 

2. Ignacio Piatti, CAM, Montreal Impact

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    Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

    Previous Ranking: 2

    Ignacio Piatti regained his form from the first two weeks of the season on Saturday in Montreal's win over Columbus. 

    The 31-year-old and his fellow Argentine Lucas Ontivero broke open plenty of space in the Columbus back four over 90 minutes at Olympic Stadium. 

    Piatti hasn't scored in three games, but he's been one of the brightest players for the top side in the Eastern Conference. 

1. Joao Plata, FW, Real Salt Lake

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    Previous Ranking: 1

    Joao Plata's dream season continued on Saturday as he scored the lone strike in Real Salt Lake's 1-0 win over Colorado in the first edition of the 2016 Rocky Mountain Cup. 

    The Ecuadorian's 72nd-minute strike may have been his easiest goal in quite some time as he lightly knocked the ball into the net after a defensive error by the Rapids.

    Plata could score again in Week 7 as Vancouver, who let in four in D.C. in Week 6, visits Rio Tinto Stadium on Saturday. 

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

    All statistics obtained from MLSSoccer.com and WhoScored.com