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MLS Player Rankings Week 30: Alexandru Mitrita, Jordan Morris surge into Top 10

Alexandru Mitrita moved up in the player rankings after scoring a hat trick in a 4-1 win over Atlanta United

Sep 25, 2019; New York, NY, USA; New York City FC forward Alexandru Mitrita (28) celebrates after scoring his third goal of the game against Atlanta United during the first half at Yankee Stadium. (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)

Alexandru Mitrita and Jordan Morris have been huge down the stretch for their respective clubs to lock them into the MLS Cup playoffs.

Mitrita’s hat trick against Atlanta United helped New York City FC move one giant step closer to clinching the top spot in the Eastern Conference, while Morris is on a roll with a trio of goals since the start of September. 

Their recent performances landed them into the top 10 of the Pro Soccer USA MLS Player Rankings. 

The players at the top remain the same, but there are some new entrants at the bottom, including one from a team with an outside chance of qualifying for the playoffs. 

Our player rankings take into account performances over the last four weeks, with the most-recent showing carrying more weight. 

20. Allan Cruz, M, FC Cincinnati 

Previous Ranking: Not Ranked 

Sep 29, 2019; Cincinnati, OH, USA; FC Cincinnati midfielder Allan Cruz (15) reacts after the game against Orlando City SC at Nippert Stadium. (Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports)

Allan Cruz has been a bright spot for FC Cincinnati as it stumbles to the finish line in its first season.

The Costa Rican midfielder scored in his second consecutive game Sunday versus Orlando City.

Additionally, he put all four of his shots on target against the Lions. If anything, Cruz appears to be a piece to build around for the first full season under coach Ron Jans. 

19. Gyasi Zardes, F, Columbus Crew SC

Previous Ranking: 11

Sep 29, 2019; Columbus, OH, USA; Columbus Crew SC forward Gyasi Zardes (11) and Philadelphia Union defender Ray Gaddis (28) battle for the ball in the first half at MAPFRE Stadium. (Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports)

Gyasi Zardes was unable to extend his scoring streak to three games. 

The U.S. men’s national team forward failed to put a single shot on target against the Philadelphia defense in the Crew’s penultimate match of the season. 

The 13-goal scorer has one more chance to increase his scoring total at BMO Field versus Toronto FC. 

18. Matt Turner, GK, New England Revolution

Previous Ranking: Not Ranked

Sep 21, 2019; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Revolution goalkeeper Matt Turner (30) makes a save on New England Revolution forward Juan Agudelo (17) during the second half of their 0-0 tie at Gillette Stadium. (Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports)

Matt Turner has put himself in contention for MLS Goalkeeper of the Year. 

The New England goalkeepers picked up shutouts in back-to-back games and recorded six saves in Sunday’s victory over NYCFC, which clinched the Revs’ playoff berth.. 

17. Jeremy Ebobisse, F, Portland Timbers

Previous Ranking: Not Ranked 

Sep 25, 2019; Portland, OR, USA; Portland Timbers forward Jeremy Ebobisse (17) celebrates after scoring a goal off a header against the New England Revolution during the second half at Providence Park. (Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports)

Jeremy Ebobisse reached double digits in goals for the first time in his MLS career with a brace Wednesday. 

The American’s pair of tallies allowed the Timbers to pick up a vital home point in the hunt for a playoff position. 

If he continues to play at this level, he could earn a call-up from USMNT boss Gregg Berhalter. 

16. Jack Price, M, Colorado Rapids

Previous Ranking: 19 

Sep 11, 2019; Commerce City, CO, USA; Colorado Rapids midfielder Jack Price (19) controls the ball in the first half against the LA Galaxy at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. (Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports)

Jack Price added to his 11 assists with his first goal of the 2019 campaign in Colorado’s victory over FC Dallas. 

The strike was just his second in a Rapids uniform, but his handout total has moved up seven from a year ago. 

Price will be vital in Colorado’s Decision Day meeting with Los Angeles FC in which they need a win and some help to clinch a playoff spot. 

15. Kei Kamara, F, Colorado Rapids

Previous Ranking: Not Ranked 

Sep 29, 2019; Commerce City, CO, USA; Colorado Rapids forward Kei Kamara (23) scores on a shot in the second half against FC Dallas at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. (Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports)

Kei Kamara is over a dozen goals for the second straight season. 

Kamara, who has double-digit goals in six seasons, found the back of the net in back-to-back contests versus Sporting Kansas City and FC Dallas. 

The goals are a welcome sight after a drought that lasted five matches.

14. Kacper Przybylko, F, Philadelphia Union

Previous Ranking: 6

Sep 29, 2019; Columbus, OH, USA; Columbus Crew SC goalkeeper Eloy Room (1) makes a save over Philadelphia Union forward Kacper Przybylko (23) in the second half at MAPFRE Stadium. (Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports)

Kacper Przybylko had an up and down week in front of goal. 

On Wednesday, the 26-year-old bagged his 15th tally in a come-from-behind victory over San Jose, but he was unable to hit the back of the net in a deflating loss to Columbus in which the Union were eliminated from the race for the No. 1 seed. 

13. Omar Gonzalez, D, Toronto FC

Previous Ranking: 15 

Sep 29, 2019; Chicago, IL, USA; Toronto FC defender Omar Gonzalez (44) reacts after scoring a goal against the Chicago Fire during the second half at SeatGeek Stadium. (Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports)

Omar Gonzalez added to his strong return to MLS with a goal in Toronto FC’s 2-2 draw with Chicago. 

It was the centerback’s first in MLS since April 18, 2015, when he tallied as a substitute versus Sporting Kansas City. 

The Reds need a massive performance out of the 30-year-old on Decision Day to earn the best seed possible in the East. 

12. Ike Opara, D, Minnesota United

Previous Ranking: 14 

Sep 25, 2019; Saint Paul, MN, USA; Minnesota United defender Ike Opara (3) passes the ball away from Sporting Kansas City midfielder Gianluca Busio (13) in the first half at Allianz Field. (Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports)

The Minnesota United defense let up two goals while earning four points in Week 30.

The pair of results allowed the Loons to grab a hold of second place going into Decision Day. 

A win in Seattle Sunday would allow Adrian Heath’s side to land on the opposite side of the bracket as LAFC. 

11. Uriel Antuna, F, LA Galaxy

Previous Ranking: 10 

Sep 15, 2019; Carson, CA, USA; LA Galaxy midfielder Uriel Antuna (18) attempts a shot while Sporting Kansas City defender Matt Besler (5) defends during the second half at StubHub Center. (Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports)

Uriel Antuna struck twine for the sixth time this season in the LA Galaxy’s heartbreaking loss to the Vancouver Whitecaps. 

In the last four games, the Mexican playmaker has three goals and a pair of handouts. 

If the Galaxy make a deep run in the postseason, Antuna could be the X-factor. 

10. Justin Meram, M, Atlanta United

Previous Ranking: 16

Sep 18, 2019; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Atlanta United FC forward Justin Meram (14) walks off the field after defeating FC Cincinnati at Nippert Stadium. (Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports)

Justin Meram is another player who could be a difference-maker in the postseason. 

In Atlanta United’s draw with Montreal, he dished out a pair of key passes and won three aerial duels. 

With Josef Martinez out, the Five Stripes need production out of their midfield and the former Columbus and Orlando could be the answer. 

9. Cristian Pavon, F, LA Galaxy

Previous Ranking: Not Ranked

September 29, 2019; Carson, CA, USA; Los Angeles Galaxy forward Cristian Pavon (10) moves the ball against Vancouver Whitecaps during the second half at StubHub Center. (Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports)

Cristian Pavon’s run of form has taken a back seat because of Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s scoring run. 

In 10 matches, the 23-year-old has two goals and eight assists, and he is riding a seven-game assist streak. 

In two games, the Argentine produced a goal and an assist. If opponents key in on Ibrahimovic, Pavon could break out and lead the Galaxy deep into the postseason. 

8. Carles Gil, M, New England Revolution

Previous Ranking: 9

Sep 25, 2019; Portland, OR, USA; New England Revolution midfielder Carles Gil (22) scores a goal on a penalty kick against the Portland Timbers during the second half at Providence Park. The game ended tied 2-2. (Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports)

Carles Gil joined the 10-goal and 10-assist club with a strike in New England’s midweek draw with Portland. 

The Spanish playmaker has wreaked havoc on opposing defenses for the majority of the season. 

Gil, Carlos Vela, Nani and Alejandro Pozuelo are the members of the 2019 double-digit goal and assist club. 

7. Jordan Morris, F, Seattle Sounders

Previous Ranking: 13

Sep 18, 2019; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Sounders FC forward Jordan Morris (13) dribbles against FC Dallas during the second half at CenturyLink Field. (Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports)

Jordan Morris bagged a crucial strike for the Sounders in their 1-0 road win over San Jose. 

The game-winning tally kept Brian Schmetzer’s team level on points with Minnesota heading into their Decision Day meeting at CenturyLink Field. 

6. Alexandru Mitrita, F, New York City FC

Previous Ranking: 20 

Sep 25, 2019; New York, NY, USA; New York City FC forward Alexandru Mitrita (28) celebrates with midfielder Alexander Ring (8) after scoring his second goal of the game against Atlanta United during the first half at Yankee Stadium. (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)

Mitrita fired off his first-ever MLS hat trick Wednesday versus Atlanta United. 

The Romanian has been massive for Dome Torrent’s side with Heber out injured. 

Since August 31, Mitrita has struck the back of the net on six occasions. 

5. Vito Mannone, GK, Minnesota United

Previous Ranking: 

Sep 25, 2019; Saint Paul, MN, USA; Minnesota United goalkeeper Vito Mannone (1) cheers behind defender Michael Boxall (15) and defender Ike Opara (3) after making a save against Sporting Kansas City in the first half at Allianz Field. (Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports)

Vito Mannone turned away 11 shots over 180 minutes in Week 30. 

The 31-year-old has saved 26 of the 29 attempts on goal he has faced in the last four matches. 

During that run, the Loons have pulled eight points and secured a home postseason contest at Allianz Field.

4. Gustavo Bou, F, New England Revolution

Previous Ranking: 5

Sep 29, 2019; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Revolution forward Gustavo Bou (7) celebrates after scoring a goal against the New York City FC during the second half at Gillette Stadium. (Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports)

Gustavo Bou is one goal away from joining the growing list of double-digit scorers.

The 29-year-old Argentinian scored twice against Portland and NYCFC to pull his total up to nine and land the Revs a postseason spot. 

Since entering the Revs lineup, Bou hasn’t gone multiple games without a tally. 

3. Frederic Brillant, D, D.C. United

Previous Ranking: 4

Sep 29, 2019; Harrison, NJ, USA; D.C. United defender Frederic Brillant (13) during the first half against the New York Red Bulls at Red Bull Arena. (Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports)

Frederic Brillant recorded seven clearances, two blocked shots and a pair of tackles in D.C. United’s road clean sheet at Red Bull Arena. 

The Black-and-Red’s draw with the New York Red Bulls kept them ahead of their rival in the hunt for the No. 4 seed in the East. 

If Ben Olsen’s side shuts out FC Cincinnati, it will enter the playoffs on a five-game shutout streak. 

2. Carlos Vela, F, Los Angeles FC

Previous Ranking: 3

Sep 29, 2019; Saint Paul, MN, USA; LAFC forward Carlos Vela (10) controls the ball during the first half of a match with Minnesota United at Allianz Field. (Nick Wosika-USA TODAY Sports)

Since his return from injury September 14, Carlos Vela has built up a four-game scoring streak. 

In fact, the 30-year-old has tallied in eight consecutive matches for the Supporters’ Shield winner. 

In his first meeting against the Rapids, Vela failed to score. If he finds the back of the net on Decision Day, he could knock Colorado out of playoff contention. 

1. Zlatan Ibrahimovic, F, LA Galaxy

Previous Ranking: 

September 29, 2019; Carson, CA, USA; Los Angeles Galaxy forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic (9) controls the ball against the Vancouver Whitecaps during the second half at StubHub Center. (Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports)

Ibrahimovic needs to make up a two-goal deficit on Sunday to tie or beat Vela for the Golden Boot. 

In Week 30, the towering Swede recorded two goals and a pair of assists versus Real Salt Lake and Vancouver. 

In the last four games, the Galaxy forward has six tallies and three assists for a club that is likely going to land the No. 4 seed in the West. 

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