I am not actually sure if this weekend was considered week 5 or week 6 in the MLS season. There were a couple of matches during the International Window so some teams have played 6 matches, so we’ll go with week 6. 

The International Window means that there was a little less opportunity for players to make an impact since the last article, but there were some good performances. Gaga Slonina and Ben Bender continue to impress. Leon Flach, John Tolkin, Nathan Harriel and George Campbell have all continue to solidify starting jobs. Cade Cowell bagged his first goal and was impressive on the wing. Quinn Sullivan got his first start for the Philadelphia Union. 

#1 | GK, Gaga Slonina, Chicago Fire (2004)

Previous Ranking: 1

450 minutes
GA/90: 0.20
PSxG +/-: +1.5

Five games, four shutouts, simply amazing. It must be said that Chicago has been very strong defensively overall, it’s not as if Gaga has been under siege all season. 

#2 | CM, Ben Bender, Charlotte FC (2001)

Previous Ranking: 2

361 Minutes
1 Goal
3 Assists
Shot Creating Actions: 14
Goal Creating Actions: 3

Ben has now started four straight games in a row for Charlotte and continues to be a bright spot for the new club. He plays a left-midfield type role and has been very effective getting into the attack. He leads all American U21s in assists, shot creating actions and goal creating actions. Here is his assist in Charlotte’s fifth match. 

#3 | CM, Leon Flach, Philadelphia Union (2001)

Previous Ranking: 4

426 minutes
1 Assist
xGoals: 0
Shot Creating Actions: 4
Goal Creating Actions: 0

Leon has started every game for a Philadelphia Union team that sits at the top of the Eastern Conference table.

#4 | LB, John Tolkin, New York Red Bulls (2002)

Previous Ranking: 3

450 minutes
xGoals: 0.3
xAssists: 0.4
Shot Creating Actions: 8
Goal Creating Actions: 1

John played another 90 minutes for NYRB in a 1-0 win against New England Revolution. He’s been better defensively than offensively so far. NYRB is off to a great start and John has been a big part of that.

#5 | RB, Nathan Harriel, Philadelphia Union (2001)

Previous Ranking: 5

360 Minutes
1 Assist
xGoals: 0.1
Shot Creating Actions: 6
Goal Creating Actions: 1

Nathan has started the last four matches for the Union and has been a reliable defensive right-back. 

#6 | CB, George Campbell, Atlanta United FC (2001)

Previous Ranking: 7

378 minutes
xGoals: 0.1
xAssists: 0.3
Shot Creating Actions: 4
Goal Creating Actions: 1
Long Pass Success Rate: 72.5%

George has started in four of five matches and appeared in all five. He’s been the most reliable center-back for Atlanta early in the season. It’s not clear whether he will be a preferred starter yet, though it’s looking that way. The reason I am not clear on whether he is a first choice CB next Miles Robinson, over Alan Franco, is because due to red cards, injuries and international duty, we’ve yet to see Atlanta have to make that decision. If George continues to start and play well for Atlanta, he may start garnering USMNT consideration.

#7 | DM, Obed Vargas, Seattle Sounders (2005)

Previous Ranking: 7

632 minutes (CCL + MLS)
*xGoals: 0.2
*xAssists: 0.2
*Shot Creating Actions: 7
*Goal Creating Actions: 0

*Stats are only from two MLS matches

Obed has yet to get his first goal or assist, but he’s been solid and continues to show poise beyond his years. It looks like he’ll be in the midfield rotation for a strong Seattle side all year. He’s the first 2005 to really break through as a senior player. He’s played the most minutes of any American U-21s thanks to Seattle’s run in Concacaf Champions League.

#8 | WING, Cade Cowell, San Jose Earthquakes (2003)

Previous Ranking: 15

221 minutes
1 Goal
xAssists: 0.1
Shot Creating Actions: 6
Goal Creating Actions: 1

Cade was back in the starting lineup in the Quakes fifth match and he bagged his first goal of the season. Cade was pretty dangerous all match and I would expect him to get a run of starts to build off of his latest performance. Here is a comp of the last match: 

https://twitter.com/USMNTZ/status/1510434306182639619?s=20&t=ozmXk6FnkBRfbanZa3EScw

#9 | RB, Andres Jasson, New York City FC (2002)

Previous Ranking: 8

465 Minutes (CCL + MLS)
1 Assist
xGoals: 0.1
*Shot Creating Actions: 5
*Goal Creating Actions: 1

*Stats are only from two MLS matches

Jasson did not start NYCFCs last match and may start to see a decrease in minutes with Tayvon Gray coming back from injury.

#10 | AM, Brian Gutierrez, Chicago Fire (2003)

Previous Ranking: 12

167 Minutes
1 Assist
xGoals: 0.2
Shot Creating Actions: 5
Goal Creating Actions: 1

Brian Gutierrez continues to be Chicago’s best attacking option off the bench and I think he’s now pushing for some starts. He had his longest run of the season during week 5 when he subbed on in the 19th minute for Shaqiri who went off with an injury. The recent U-20 call up continues to improve and is becoming a legit prospect for the US. Here is his assist in week 4: 

#11 | AM, Tyler Wolff, Atlanta United FC (2003)

Previous Ranking: 9

253 minutes
xGoals: 0.3
xAssists: 0.2
Shot Creating Actions: 7
Goal Creating Actions: 1

As expected, Tyler saw a decrease in minutes now that high priced transfer Thiago Almada is in the fold.  Tyler subbed in stoppage time in Atlanta’s fifth match after starting the first four. Tyler did get his first call up to the US U20s last week. He was a late addition after Dante Sealy had to drop out. 

#12 | LWB, Adam Armour, Charlotte FC (2002)

Previous Ranking: 10

66 minutes
1 Goal
xAssists: 0.1
Shot Creating Actions: 4
Goal Creating Actions: 0

Adam has not played in a couple of weeks. 

#13 | CM, Caden Clark, New York Red Bulls (2003)

Previous Ranking: 11

94 minutes
1 assist
xGoals: 0.2
Shot Creating Actions: 3
Goal Creating Actions: 1

Caden did not play in NYRBs fifth match and was not in the squad after picking up a knock for the U-20s over the international window. 

#14 | WING, Matko Miljevic, CF Montreal (2001)

Previous Ranking: 14

287 Minutes (CCL + MLS)
xGoals: 0.5
*xAssists: 0.2
*Shot Creating Actions: 5
*Goal Creating Actions: 0

*Stats are only from two MLS matches

Matko was once again a sub in Montreal’s last match. He’s still looking for his first goal contribution. 

#15 | WING/AM, Griffin Yow, DC United (2002)

Previous Ranking: 13

199 minutes
xGoals: 0.4
xAssists: 0.3
Shot Creating Actions: 6
Goal Creating Actions: 1

Griffin had another appearance off the bench in DCs fifth match, but didn’t contribute a whole lot. 

#16 | DM, Sebastian Berhalter, Vancouver Whitecaps (2001)

Previous Ranking: 23

212 Minutes
xGoals: 0
xAssists: 0.1
Shot Creating Actions: 5
Goal Creating Actions: 0

Sebastian has started the last two matches for Vancouver and had his best game of the season in week 5. 

#17 | LB, Noah Allen, Inter Miami (2004)

Previous Ranking: 19

243 Minutes
xGoals: 0.1
xAssists: 0
Shot Creating Actions: 2
Goal Creating Actions: 0

Noah was back in the starting lineup with injuries to Gibbs and Shea and had his most impactful match of the season with a shot on goal and two shot creating actions. 

#18 | CM, Cameron Duke, Sporting Kansas City (2001)

Previous Ranking: 18

164 Minutes
xGoals: 0.4
xAssists: 0
Shot Creating Actions: 3
Goal Creating Actions: 1

Cameron came off the bench in week 5 and had another chance on goal, but he’s yet to record his first goal or assist in the season. 

#19 | LB, Caleb Wiley, Atlanta United (2004)

Previous Ranking: 16

41 Minutes
1 Goal
xAssists: 0.2
Shot Creating Actions: 1
Goal Creating Actions: 0

Caleb has not played since week 2. 

#20 | RB, Tayvon Gray, New York City FC (2002)

Previous Ranking: 17

260 minutes (CCL + MLS)
*xGoals: 0
*xAssists: 0
*Shot Creating Actions: 1
*Goal Creating Actions: 0

*Stats are only from two MLS matches

Tayvon was back in the squad after being out for a few weeks with a muscle injury. I’d expect him to get back in the starting lineup in the near future. 

#21 | DM, Moses Nyeman, DC United (2003)

Previous Ranking: 20

144 minutes
xGoals: 0
xAssists: 0
Shot Creating Actions: 0
Goal Creating Actions: 0

Moses hasn’t played since his red card and with the Chris Durkin signing, minutes might be hard to come by for Moses. 

#22 | CB, Jaziel Orozco, Real Salt Lake (2004)

Previous Ranking: 24

135 Minutes
xGoals: 0
xAssists: 0
Shot Creating Actions: 0
Goal Creating Actions: 0

Jaziel Orozco received his first start of his professional career at RCB and he was solid, though he struggled to connect any of his long passes. 

#23 | AM, Quinn Sullivan, Philadelphia Union (2003)

Previous Ranking: NR

106 Minutes
xGoals: 0
xAssists: 0
Shot Creating Actions: 0
Goal Creating Actions: 0

Quinn received his first start of the season in Philadelphia’s fifth match. He didn’t have a huge impact on the game, but it was great to see him get more time on the pitch. He’s been tearing it up for the US U-20s. 

#24 | AM, Paxten Aaronson, Philadelphia Union (2003)

Previous Ranking: 21

40 Minutes
xGoals: 0.1
xAssists: 0.5
Shot Creating Actions: 2
Goal Creating Actions: 0

Paxten has yet to see significant minutes for a Philadelphia Union side that’s racking up a lot of points. 

#25 | AM, Reed Baker-Whiting, Seattle Sounders (2005)

Previous Ranking: 22

90 Minutes
xGoals: 0.2
xAssists: 0
Shot Creating Actions: 1
Goal Creating Actions: 0

RBW has not played since his lone start in week 2. 

Dropped from the list: Jack McGlynn

Week 4 Rankings >