Another great week in MLS, another set of ingenious individual brilliance. The 23rd week was filled with exquisite goals, mouth-watering ball movement and breathtaking synergy.
Here are the top 10 players from week 23.
10. Tony Lochhead: It’s not every day that a Chivas USA defender makes a top 10 list, but Lochhead was too good to pass up. The veteran defender helped Dan Kennedy keep a clean sheet against Pedro Morales and Vancouver Whitecaps. According to whoscored.com, the New Zealand international made three interceptions, 12 effective clearances and blocked a shot.
9. Soony Saad: A day before his 22nd birthday, the Lebanese international finally decided to show up and play. He was very proactive down the left flank, causing trouble for Toronto FC’s right back, Jackson.
He’s hard work was rewarded when the ball fell perfectly to him in the 64th minute. He brought the ball down brilliantly, and fired a screamer past Joe Bendik. His audacious flick set up CJ Sapong for Sporting Kansas City’s fourth goal.
8. Luke Mulholland: The English midfielder was the catalyst as Real Salt Lake dethroned the mighty Seattle Sounders. Mulholland put the ball on a platter for Joao platter to score his 11th goal of the season and a few minutes later, the 26-year-old poked home the game-winner.
7. Justin Meram: The 25-year-old got things started as Columbus Crew routed LA Galaxy 4-1. Meram twisted at the top of the box before unleashing a curler into the upper 90. He also had an assist.
6. Dom Dwyer: Sporting Kansas City’s top scorer loves playing against Canadian teams. The 24-year-old scored two goals from the spot against Toronto FC, taking his season tally against Canadian teams to 10.
5. Ethan Finlay: The 24-year-old midfielder had a breakout game against the Galaxy. He scored a beautiful goal and set another up. Even though he only had 39 touches on the ball, Finlay managed to create three key passes.
4. Giancarlo Gonzalez: The World Cup standout was an absolute nightmare for LA’s attackers. He won four aerial duels, blocked two shots, intercepted two passes, had 12 effective clearances and was whoscored.com’s Man of the Match with an 8.47 rating. He was also a menace for LA’s defender as he scored a beautiful header.
3. Luis Silva: It only took the former Toronto FC attacker 72 minutes to tear apart Colorado Rapids defense and score two clinical goals. For his first goal, Silva was brilliantly picked out in space and he used a deadly cutback to lose and injure Drew Moor and slot the ball past Clint Irwin.
Another great off the ball movement put him in a great position to slot the ball through Irwin’s legs for his second goal.
2. Fabian Castillo: This man is on fire. The canny Colombian terrorized San Jose Earthquakes defense. His speed, dexterity and great vision made San Jose’s center backs look like morons.
He scored two and assisted one as FC Dallas hammered their conference foe 5-0.
1.Tesho Akindele: The race for Rookie of the Year is far from over. Harry Shipp was favorite going into week 23, and then Akindele scored a hat-trick to take his season tally to seven goals. The 22-year-old looked like the classic poacher as he popped up in the right spot to score his three goals.
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