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MLS Week 20 Player Rankings: New England Revolution dominate list with four players

Antonio Delamea, Teal Bunbury, Gustavo Bou and Carles Gil are all featured in the Week 20 MLS Player Rankings

Jul 17, 2019; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Revolution forward Carles Gil (22) reacts after a goal during the second half against the Vancouver Whitecaps FC at Gillette Stadium. (Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports)

The New England Revolution’s unbeaten streak has been on our radar for a few weeks. 

The praise has trickled in for Bruce Arena’s team, and it broke out in a major way in Week 20, when they downed Vancouver and FC Cincinnati by multiple goals. 

New England’s impressive attacking performance led us to add two of its players to the top 10 of the Pro Soccer USA MLS Player Rankings, and two more in the bottom half. 

The presence of four Revs in the Week 20 edition of the Player Rankings match totals only achieved by Los Angeles FC’s talented contingent.

Speaking of LAFC, it still has three players in the top 20, with one attempting to gain his top spot back.

The MLS Player Rankings take into account a player’s form over the last four games, with the most recent showing holding a bit more weight.

20. Kacper Przybylko, F, Philadelphia Union

Previous Ranking: 6

Jul 20, 2019; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Union forward Kacper Przybylko (23) controls the ball against Chicago Fire defender Jorge Luis Corrales (25) during the first half at Talen Energy Stadium. (Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports)

After scoring on five occasions in a four-game stretch out of the Concacaf Gold Cup break, Kacper Przybylko failed to score in each of his last two contests. 

Although Philadelphia defeated Chicago Saturday, the 26-year-old striker was unable to attempt a shot for the second straight game. 

In Week 21, Przybylko and the Union will go for the season double over the Montreal Impact. 

19. Brian White, F, New York Red Bulls

Previous Ranking: 20 

Brian White continued to take advantage of his opportunity in the New York Red Bulls lineup with a goal Sunday against Orlando City.

The 23-year-old Duke product is up to seven tallies in his second MLS season, and has provided Chris Armas with a viable backup option to Bradley Wright-Phillips when the star striker is ready to start a consistent run of games. 

White has been incredibly efficient with the chances he gets with his seven goals coming on nine shots on target.

18. Ike Opara, D, Minnesota United

Previous Ranking: 7

Jul 20, 2019; Sandy, UT, USA; Real Salt Lake midfielder Sebastian Saucedo (23) and Minnesota United defender Ike Opara (3) battle for the ball in the second half at Rio Tinto Stadium. (Jeff Swinger-USA TODAY Sports)

Ike Opara and the Minnesota United defense held Real Salt Lake to three shots on goal in their 1-1 draw at Rio Tinto Stadium.

However, the Loons could not pick up three points in a game in which they led for 13 minutes, and the equalizer came from an unusual source in Marcelo Silva. 

The Loons have a chance to earn their second shutout in three games at home in Week 21 against a struggling Vancouver side. 

17. Adama Diomande, F, Los Angeles FC

Previous Ranking: 10

Jul 19, 2019; Carson, CA, USA; Los Angeles FC forward Adama Diomande (99) moves the ball while LA Galaxy defender Daniel Steres (5) defends during the first half at Dignity Health Sports Park. (Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports)

Adama Diomande took a backseat to the superstars in the scoring column during El Trafico Friday night. 

The 29-year-old forward handed out four key passes in the 3-2 loss, but he saw his two-game scoring streak come to an end without a shot on goal. 

Diomande and the Los Angeles FC strike force face another difficult task in Week 21, with Atlanta United coming to Banc of California Stadium Friday night.

16. Antonio Delamea, D, New England Revolution

Previous Ranking: Not Ranked

There was a stretch at the start of the season in which we didn’t think any defensive-minded player from New England would qualify for this list. 

But after two clean sheets and a goal in Week 20, Antonio Delamea is one of four Revs on this list, and one of two debutantes. 

Delamea was a part of a defensive unit that held the Whitecaps without a shot on goal Wednesday and shut out FC Cincinnati on the road Sunday,  despite giving up seven attempts on target. 

15. Jonathan Lewis, M, Colorado Rapids

Previous Ranking: Not Ranked

May 29, 2019; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Colorado Rapids forward Jonathan Lewis (11) runs the ball past Philadelphia Union defender Kai Wagner (27) during the second half at Talen Energy Stadium. (Derik Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports)

Since he was traded from New York City FC to Colorado, Jonathan Lewis has made an impact in many ways for the Rapids. 

In the two games since he returned from the Gold Cup, Lewis has a goal and an assist, including the handout he produced on the lone goal scored by Conor Casey’s side in the 2-1 loss to his former club Saturday at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.

In 400 minutes for the Rapids, Lewis has three goals and an assist. 

14. Gustavo Bou, F, New England Revolution

Previous Ranking: Not Ranked

Gustavo Bou announced his presence in MLS with a screaming shot into the back of the net Wednesday in New England’s blowout win over Vancouver

After scoring his first MLS goal, Bou dished out his first assist in the league Sunday at Nippert Stadium.

With Bou and an in-form Teal Bunbury up top and Carles Gil playing at an All-Star level behind them, the Revs could make their spot above the red line a permanent one.

13. Heber, F, New York City FC

Previous Ranking: Not Ranked

Heber scored in back-to-back league games for NYCFC for the second time this season in Weeks 19 and 20.

The Brazilian forward notched his first tally in the Hudson River Derby a week ago and extended that scoring run into Saturday’s 2-1 victory over Colorado. 

In his last four games, which were separated by a three-match injury layoff, Heber has five goals and an assist. 

12. Leandro Gonzalez Pirez, D, Atlanta United

Previous Ranking: Not Ranked

Jul 17, 2019; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta United defender Leandro Gonzalez Pirez (5) dribbles the ball against the Houston Dynamo in the second half at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. (Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports)

The Atlanta United defense took advantage of home cooking in Week 20 by producing a pair of shutouts against Houston and D.C. United. 

In the midweek 5-0 thumping of the 10-man Dynamo, Leandro Gonzalez Pirez won six aerials and completed 91 percent of his 111 passes. 

That form continued Sunday, when the 27-year-old made four tackles and two interceptions while holding Ben Olsen’s team to three shots on target.

11. Jozy Altidore, F, Toronto FC

Previous Ranking: Not Ranked

Jozy Altidore is another of the U.S. Men’s National Team players who has come back to MLS from international duty and shined. 

With a goal in each of Toronto FC’s matches in Week 20, Altidore eclipsed his goal total from an injury-ravished 2018 season. 

When he has been on the field, Altidore has been a difference-maker for the Reds, with eight goals in 12 games. 

10. Diego Rossi, F, Los Angeles FC

Previous Ranking: 3

Jun 28, 2019; Commerce City, CO, USA; Los Angeles FC forward Diego Rossi (9) controls the ball against Colorado Rapids defender Sam Vines (13) in the first half at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. (Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports)

Just like Diomande, Diego Rossi was unable to provide an impact in attack as part of LAFC’s three-pronged forward lineup in El Trafico.

The 21-year-old attempted three shots, but all of them went off target in his club’s third league defeat of the season.

Friday also marked the end of Rossi’s three-game scoring run in which two of the goals came in road games.

9. Maxi Moralez, M, New York City FC

Previous Ranking: 5

Jul 14, 2019; Harrison, NJ, USA; New York City FC midfielder Maximiliano Moralez (10) dribbles the ball against the New York Red Bulls during the second half at Red Bull Arena. (Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports)

Maxi Moralez handed out his 13th assist of the campaign on Heber’s equalizing goal at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. 

The Argentinian playmaker also dished out seven key passes in NYCFC’s fourth road victory of 2019.

If NYCFC wants to climb up the Eastern Conference table with its games in hand, Moralez needs to continue packing a punch in and around the penalty area. 

8. Mason Toye, F, Minnesota United

Previous Ranking: 4

May 29, 2019; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta United defender Miles Robinson (12) blocks a shot attempt by Minnesota United forward Mason Toye (23) in the second half at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. (Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports)

Mason Toye was unable to find the back of the net Saturday, but he did chip in an assist on Minnesota United’s lone goal at Rio Tinto Stadium.

The 20-year-old New Jersey native, who has scored on each of his four shots on goal, has provided a goal or an assist in five straight league matches. 

7. Brian Fernandez, F, Portland Timbers

Previous Ranking: 18

Brian Fernandez made an instant mark on the Cascadia Cup by depositing a pair of goals into the back of the net in Portland’s 2-1 win over Seattle. 

The 24-year-old Argentinian opened the scoring and then answered Seattle’s lone tally almost immediately to put the Timbers back in the lead for good.

The scorer of eight goals should make his way up the Golden Boot chart with Portland settling into a long stretch of home contests at Providence Park.

6. Teal Bunbury, F, New England Revolution

Previous Ranking: 8

Bunbury has been one of the most consistent forwards in MLS over the last month with four goals in his last five games. 

The 29-year-old extended his scoring streak to four games with a strike in the Revs’ win over Vancouver Wednesday. 

Bunbury’s form will help the Revs moving forward, but it will also be interesting to see how he fits around Bou, who is expected to receive the most opportunities of the striker corps in New England.

5. Carles Gil, M, New England Revolution

Previous Ranking: 15

An argument can be made that Gil is the most underrated player in MLS this season. 

The 26-year-old moved his 2019 totals up to seven goals and eight assists with a goal and an assist in each of the Revs’ matches in Week 20.

Gil should be in the running for Player of the Month in July with three goals and three assists over four games for the surging Revs. 

4. Vako, F, San Jose Earthquakes

Previous Ranking: 11

Vako has produced one of the most active two-game stretches of any player in MLS over the last two weeks.

In games against the LA Galaxy and Vancouver, Vako totaled nine shots on goal off 22 total shots, two goals and an assist.

The Republic of Georgia international is currently on pace to break his MLS highs in goals, assists and shots on goal. 

3. Zlatan Ibrahimovic, F, LA Galaxy

Previous Ranking: Not Ranked

Entering El Trafico, Zlatan Ibrahimovic hadn’t scored in three of his last four games. 

He broke out of that slump in a major way by netting the second hat-trick of his MLS career. The other came against Orlando City SC in July, 2018.

The three-goal performance marked the 10th time Ibrahimovic scored multiple goals in a game for the LA Galaxy.

2. Carlos Vela, F, Los Angeles FC

Previous Ranking: 

Carlos Vela may have lost the individual battle to Ibrahimovic Friday night, but he still walked away with two goals. 

The brace was a consolation from a night in which Bob Bradley’s team was outplayed in most facets of the match at Dignity Health Sports Park. 

In the process of scoring twice in El Trafico, Vela became the fastest player to score 20 goals in MLS history.

1. Josef Martinez, F, Atlanta United

Previous Ranking: 

Jul 21, 2019; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta United forward Josef Martinez (7) celebrates after a goal against D.C. United in the second half at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. (Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports)

Josef Martinez’s Week 20 highlight reel was dominated by his ugly penalty miss in which he exaggerated his typical pause in his run up to taking a penalty.

Martinez still scored three goals against Houston and D.C. to move within five goals of Vela in the Golden Boot race. 

If he continues to score at this clip, the Venezuelan forward could challenge Vela for the honor of MLS’ top scorer. 




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