MLS Player Rankings: Giovinco Goes Top, Bolanos and Manneh Debut After Week 11

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistMay 17, 2016

MLS Player Rankings: Giovinco Goes Top, Bolanos and Manneh Debut After Week 11

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    Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

    It was going to take a special individual showing in Week 11 to take Giovani dos Santos out of the top spot of our weekly MLS Player Rankings. 

    One of the few stars in Major League Soccer capable of producing more skill than the Mexican showed off his tremendous abilities on Saturday in a losing effort. 

    Thanks to his performance against the Vancouver Whitecaps, Sebastian Giovinco returned to the spot he called home for most of 2015.

    As for the victorious team at BMO Field in Week 11, Vancouver produced two of the five new entrants to the list of the top 20 in-form players in MLS. 

    Our rankings take into account the last four games individuals participated in, with the most recent match holding the most importance. 

    Continue reading to see which stars earned a spot in the Bleacher Report MLS Player Rankings after Week 11.

On the Way out

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    Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports

    Two of the most consistent goalkeepers in MLS fell out of the top 20 due to average performances in Week 11. In addition to the pair of netminders, a few field players dropped out due to underwhelming weeks. 

    Players Dropped out of Rankings

    Clint Irwin (Toronto FC; Previous Ranking: 15) 

    Khiry Shelton (New York City FC; 16) 

    Dominic Oduro (Montreal Impact; 17)

    Andre Blake (Philadelphia Union; 19)

    Chris Pontius (Philadelphia Union; 20)

20. Alvaro Saborio, FW, D.C. United

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    Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

    Previous Ranking: Not Ranked

    Alvaro Saborio's credentials to make this list were debated at length before he was included. 

    The D.C. United forward has contributed a goal and an assist in two of his last four matches, including one in Friday's win over the New York Red Bulls, but he didn't do much in between. 

    Because we like to stay true to our criteria, the 34-year-old sneaks in this week thanks to his 89-minute showing at RFK Stadium in Week 11.

19. Patrick Nyarko, RM, D.C. United

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    Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

    Previous Ranking: Not Ranked 

    To the dismay of Chicago fans, another former Fire player is starting to make an impact in the D.C. United attack. 

    Patrick Nyarko scored for the second time in three matches in the win over the Red Bulls on Friday as D.C. moved into fifth place in the Eastern Conference. 

    The 30-year-old, who has helped the Black and Red earn points in three of their last four games, also picked up an assist in his side's Week 11 victory.

18. Axel Sjoberg, CB, Colorado Rapids

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    Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

    Previous Ranking: 18

    The Colorado Rapids continued to impress in Week 11 as they took four out of a possible six points from two matches. 

    Axel Sjoberg and the Rapids back four only allowed one tally over 180 minutes in the last seven days. After recording a shutout at home on Wednesday against Sporting Kansas City, Colorado held the revamped Columbus Crew attack to one goal. 

    Through 12 games played this season, the Rapids are the only side in MLS averaging two or more points per game.

17. Jermaine Jones, CM, Colorado Rapids

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    Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

    Previous Ranking: 11

    Jermaine Jones was not a major factor in either of Colorado's matches in Week 11. 

    On Wednesday at Dick's Sporting Goods Park, the 34-year-old recorded just 30 touches and two shots in his advanced midfield role. 

    Three days later at Mapfre Stadium, the United States men's national team stalwart did not place a shot on goal and only made two tackles on the defensive end of the pitch. 

    Despite the poor week, the former Schalke 04 man received good news in a way as Jozy Altidore went down with a hamstring injury. The injury to the Toronto FC forward means Jones may feature in more of a forward role at the Copa America Centenario for the USMNT.

16. Keegan Rosenberry, RB, Philadelphia Union

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    Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

    Previous Ranking: Not Ranked

    With all due respect to Jordan Morris, Keegan Rosenberry is the frontrunner to win the Rookie of the Year award at this point in the season. 

    The Georgetown University product has brought stability to the Philadelphia Union back line with his terrific on-the-ball defending and pace on the right wing. 

    Rosenberry, 22, was thrust into the spotlight in Week 11 thanks to his one-on-one stops against Giovani dos Santos, Robbie Keane, Didier Drogba and Ignacio Piatti in the Union's games on Wednesday and Saturday.

15. Kekuta Manneh, AM, Vancouver Whitecaps

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    Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

    Previous Ranking: Not Ranked

    Now seems like a good time to remind USMNT fans that Kekuta Manneh will earn his citizenship in September, per

    The Whitecaps midfielder had the best week of anyone in the league as he played a role in four of Vancouver's six goals across two matches. 

    The 21-year-old's breakout performance came on Saturday at BMO Field as he scored twice and recorded an assist in his side's 4-3 win. 

    If Saturday is a sign of things to come for Manneh, we could see him make an appearance for the Yanks after he earns his citizenship just like Darlington Nagbe last year.

14. Osvaldo Alonso, CM, Seattle Sounders

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    Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

    Previous Ranking: 13

    The Seattle Sounders may not have been successful as a team at Toyota Stadium, but Osvaldo Alonso was still able to put up some eye-popping numbers. 

    The midfield maestro touched the ball on 121 occasions and completed 89.4 percent of his 104 passes in Seattle's 2-0 defeat at the hands of FC Dallas. 

    Alonso has a pass-completion percentage of 91.3 for the season, and he is third in the league in passes per game with 69.2. Only Wil Trapp and Michael Bradley have been more active on the ball in 2016. 

13. Kei Kamara, FW, New England Revolution

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    Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

    Previous Ranking: 12

    A week after voicing his displeasure with his teammates in Columbus, Kei Kamara made his New England Revolution debut at Gillette Stadium against the Chicago Fire. 

    The Sierra Leone international sent four of his six shots on target in the 2-0 win, but he was unable to score in his first match for Jay Heaps' side.

    The 31-year-old enters Week 12 with four tallies in his last five contests.

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

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    Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

    Previous Ranking: 14

    C.J. Sapong broke his scoreless run of two games on Saturday in Philadelphia's 1-1 draw with the Montreal Impact. 

    The 27-year-old would have been a great option to replace Altidore due to his similar physical style, but he will have to wait for his first USMNT call-up until after the Copa America Centenario. 

    Sapong will look to move his goal tally to six on Friday, when the Union host D.C. United.

11. Ignacio Piatti, CAM, Montreal Impact

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    Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports

    Previous Ranking: 9

    Ignacio Piatti was certainly active on the ball in Montreal's draw with Philadelphia, but his 90-minute showing was decent at best.

    The 31-year-old and the rest of the Impact attack produced a rampant first 20 minutes before the Union settled into the match and took the hosts out of a rhythm.

    The Argentine, who bagged a brace in Week 10, recorded two key passes and one attempt on target at Stade Saputo on Saturday.

10. Chris Wondolowski, FW, San Jose Earthquakes

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    Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports

    Previous Ranking: 10 

    A new role fit Chris Wondolowski perfectly on Wednesday as he set up a pair of strikes instead of scoring them. 

    The San Jose forward earned his first assist since the final match of the 2015 season on Alberto Quintero's opener at Avaya Stadium. 

    The 33-year-old completed his first two-assist performance since May 4, 2013, in the 76th minute, when he dished the ball over to Quintero from close range.

9. Christian Bolanos, RM, Vancouver Whitecaps

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    Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

    Previous Ranking: Not Ranked

    The owner of one of the top scoring streaks in MLS burst into the spotlight during Vancouver's six-point week.

    Costa Rica international Christian Bolanos scored his fourth goal in five matches in the Whitecaps' seven-goal affair with Toronto.

    In the one contest in which the 32-year-old failed to score during his current run of form, he picked up an assist.

8. Sacha Kljestan, CM, New York Red Bulls

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    Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

    Previous Ranking: 6

    All the momentum built up by the Red Bulls over the last three weeks was lost on Friday night in the defeat to D.C.

    Sacha Kljestan did his best to spur Jesse Marsch's side into a comeback as he made five key passes and attempted two shots, but the end product in the final third was not good enough to beat Travis Worra. 

    The Red Bulls will play their second rivalry game in a row on Saturday as they visit New York City FC at Yankee Stadium. 

7. Jordan Morris, FW, Seattle Sounders

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    Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

    Previous Ranking: 4

    After Altidore went down earlier on Saturday, USMNT fans were hoping Jordan Morris and Clint Dempsey would give them a glimpse into the future with their combination in the Seattle attack. 

    However, the phenom and the veteran combined for two shots on target in a 4-3-3 formation that may be used by Jurgen Klinsmann at the Copa. 

    Saturday marked the first time the 21-year-old was kept from scoring since April 10.

6. Gyasi Zardes, FW, LA Galaxy

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    Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

    Previous Ranking: 2

    Gyasi Zardes was invisible for long stretches of the LA Galaxy's 2-2 draw with the Union on Wednesday at Talen Energy Stadium.

    The 24-year-old didn't attempt a shot in the match that was dominated by the host side for most of the second half. 

    Luckily for the Galaxy, their lack of possession and chances didn't hamper their ability to earn a point in their lone match of Week 11.

5. Fanendo Adi, FW, Portland Timbers

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    Scott Olmos-USA TODAY Sports

    Previous Ranking: 8

    Fanendo Adi appeared to set Portland on the track for three points on Sunday night with his eighth goal of the season, but the Timbers somehow fell to NYCFC at Providence Park.

    Part of the reason why Portland failed to find the back of the net for a second time was the substitution of the Nigerian three minutes after his equalizer. 

    After starting 2016 on a lightning-fast scoring pace, the 25-year-old has bagged two goals and one assist in his last four games.

4. David Villa, FW, New York City FC

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    Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

    Previous Ranking: 7

    David Villa joined Adi and Giovinco atop the Golden Boot leaderboard on Sunday with his 12th-minute tally against Portland. 

    The goal was the fourth in three matches for the Spaniard, who appears to be rounding into form ahead of the New York derby on Saturday. 

    Before his current tear began, Villa had gaps of two and three games in between goals for NYCFC.

3. Didier Drogba, FW, Montreal Impact

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    Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports

    Previous Ranking: 5

    Montreal forward Didier Drogba has also found the back of the net in three consecutive contests.

    The 38-year-old picked up an early tally in the third minute of the Impact's draw with Philadelphia at Stade Saputo before Sapong equalized 21 minutes later. 

    Drogba has contributed to an Impact goal in five of his seven appearances this season. The last time he failed to record a goal or assist was April 23.

2. Giovani Dos Santos, FW, LA Galaxy

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    Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

    Previous Ranking: 1

    Rarely does a two-assist showing force you down a spot on this list. 

    Despite playing a role in both of the Galaxy's tallies on Wednesday, Dos Santos was not able to match the production of Giovinco in Week 11.

    The two goals netted by Bruce Arena's side at Talen Energy Stadium involved wonderful passing inside and around the penalty area. However, those were the only bright spots of LA's overall performance against the Union. 

1. Sebastian Giovinco, FW, Toronto FC

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    Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

    Previous Ranking: 3

    It's truly baffling that Giovinco failed to earn a spot on Italy's Euro 2016 roster. 

    Since joining MLS, the Atomic Ant has scored 30 goals and contributed 21 assists in 43 games. I dare you to find an Italian forward more deserving than the 29-year-old to make the trip to France. 

    As if you needed more evidence to question Giovinco's exclusion, he set an MLS record on Saturday as he has contributed to 13 straight goals, per the Toronto FC media relations department on Twitter. 

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

    All statistics obtained from and


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