MLS Player Rankings: BWP Remains on Top; Finlay, Mullins Surge Up List

In a league full of in-form strikers, Bradley Wright-Phillips has been able to fend off all challengers to his top spot in the Bleacher Report MLS Player Rankings.  The New York Red Bulls forward has been on a tear in front of goal since the end of July, and he's showing few weaknesses as the stretch run of the regular season begins.  Not only are players on potential playoff teams heating up, but a few on the other side of the red line are making noise as well, including Ethan Finlay of the Columbus Crew. Since there were quite a few midweek games in Week 25, some players have a smaller sample size in terms of date range for our latest list, as we take into account the last four performances from each player.  Continue reading to see who fell into place behind Wright-Phillips in the latest Bleacher Report MLS Player Rankings. Begin Slideshow
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Toronto FC Investigation Launched After Lewd Banner Unveiled vs. Montreal Impact

Major League Soccer club Toronto FC have launched an investigation after a fan displayed a banner depicting a woman performing oral sex in their match with Montreal Impact on Saturday.  According to the Mirror's Liam Corless, the banner—which included the caption "Montreal sucks"—was produced by a supporter during the game at BMO Field, and the club have appealed to any fans who have information that could identify the person responsible. Here is the banner, courtesy of Twitter user blackbetty07: Per Corless, Toronto released a statement after the game apologising for the banner, branding it "insulting to many including our opponent, the City of Montreal, and their fans." The club further condemned those responsible: It was an embarrassment to our club and to our supporters and will not be tolerated. We sincerely apologize to the Montreal Impact, the City of Montreal, and all fans for this disgraceful act. We are currently investigating through all available security and social media footage and strongly encourage fans with any information to assist us in identifying those involved so that they can be held responsible. The two sides met in the Eastern Conference, with the Impact claiming the 1-0 victory thanks to Ignacio Piatti's second-half winner.Read more MLS news on
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MLS Team of the Week: Mullins, Nyarko Shine in D.C.’s Blowout Win in Week 25

The latest twists and turns of the always unexpected Major League Soccer regular season were created by some unlikely characters in Week 25.  D.C. United made a statement, or as much as a team can make against the lowly Chicago Fire, with a four-goal rout at RFK Stadium to keep them above the red line in the Eastern Conference.  One week after losing to rival Seattle, the Portland Timbers used a four-goal outburst in the first half to bring a little bit of sanity to the ever-changing cast of teams near the red line in the Western Conference.  Week 25 also proved just how hard it is to win on the road in MLS. Toronto and Philadelphia earned wins on their travels on Wednesday, while only Montreal and FC Dallas earned three points on the road during Saturday's action. Since there were a handful of midweek matches, we took those performances into account along with the weekend ones for the latest Bleacher Report MLS Team of the Week.  Due to the bevy of strong attacking showings over the last seven days, we shaped our latest best XI in a 3-5-2 formation. Continue reading to see who was named to the Bleacher Report MLS Team of the ...
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Jozy Altidore’s Recovery Helps Spark Toronto FC’s March Up Standings

Toronto FC was always going to be one of the main players in the race for the Supporters' Shield and Eastern Conference in Major League Soccer, but the club has elevated its status in those competitions lately with the reintroduction of Jozy Altidore to the starting XI.  The United States men's national team forward has been plagued by hamstring injuries at the worst times on the international level as he has missed parts of three major tournaments in the last three years. He also missed a good chunk of time for Toronto this season.  Since returning to the pitch as a substitute on July 23, the 26-year-old designated player has shown how much of an impact player he can be in the stretch run for the Reds.  Altidore has found the back of the net in five of his last six games, including one in each of his last four contests. All of that success is coming as he still works his way back to full fitness.  "It’s just getting the minutes and the legs under you," Altidore told reporters after Toronto's win on Saturday against Philadelphia. "I think cardio-wise I’m OK. It’s just getting the legs in the humidity and keeping them turning. ...
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MLS Player Rankings: BWP Takes Top Spot; Altidore, Dempsey Move into Top 10

It's a great time to be a top scorer in Major League Soccer. As the race for the Golden Boot heats up, some of the league's best in front of goal are stringing together terrific performances entering the stretch run of the regular season.  Few players have been as hot in the final third as Bradley Wright-Phillips has over the last month. Thanks to his goal-scoring prowess, the New York Red Bulls forward is the latest No. 1 in our weekly MLS Player Rankings.  Jozy Altidore and Clint Dempsey, who have surged up the scoring charts of late, make their return to the list of the top 20 in-form players in MLS this week as well.  Our player rankings take into account the last four performances from a certain player, with the most recent one holding more stock.  Continue reading to see who joined some of the league's top strikers in our Week 24 edition of the Bleacher Report MLS Player Rankings. Begin Slideshow
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MLS Team of the Week: Dempsey, Roldan Shine for Surging Sounders

The last three days of play in Major League Soccer produced a plethora of unexpected results that set up the league's playoff races for more drama than expected.  After wins by Seattle, Chicago, Columbus and Houston, the biggest gap between sixth and 10th place in the league is eight points between Portland and Houston in the Western Conference.  The Sounders stole the headlines for their victory over rival Portland to close out the weekend. The two sides meet in a week's time and another win could land Seattle a spot above the red line, which is something no one expected to see when Sigi Schmid was fired.  Chicago and Columbus also added intrigue to the Eastern Conference race. The Fire, who were already written off by many, are not out of the postseason race by any stretch of the imagination as they sit six points back of sixth-place D.C., while the once-struggling Crew are all of a sudden five points back. All three of the biggest winners from Week 24 in MLS have a pair of players in our latest Bleacher Report MLS Team of the Week. Continue reading to see who joined the likes of Clint Dempsey and David Accam in our best XI ...
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Healthy Frank Lampard Revelling in Life Under Patrick Vieira at NYCFC

Frank Lampard had to wait longer than expected to show off his talents in a New York City FC shirt.  But ever since moving back to full fitness, the 38-year-old midfielder has been one of the best players in Major League Soccer.  The former Chelsea and West Ham United man admitted his long injury break, which came with plenty of criticism that he was one of the worst signings in league history because of his inactivity, was frustrating to sit through because he wanted to please the fans of the second-year club.  “It was frustrating," Lampard told Bleacher Report. "I’m not the only player to get frustrated when being injured. It was tough and it was a difficult injury that probably wasn’t as well-documented out loud than what it was behind the scenes and I knew I was going to be out for a while. "It didn’t come across, so it was probably frustrating that I couldn’t get out and do my thing on the pitch to show people what I could do.  I just tried to keep a calm head so when I did get fully fit, I could help the team. I wouldn’t call it a relief to be back, it was ...
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MLS Player Rankings: Dominant Red Bulls Duo Work Their Way to the Top

One of the best attacking duos in Major League Soccer features Sacha Kljestan and Bradley Wright-Phillips of the New York Red Bulls. In recent weeks, the midfielder and forward have dazzled with their skills in the final third and climbed up the league goal and assist charts, respectively. Thanks to their recent displays for Jesse Marsch's side, both players are high up in the Bleacher Report MLS Player Rankings after Week 23. Our player rankings take into account the last four performances, with the most recent carrying the most importance. Continue reading to see which players landed where in our latest MLS Player Rankings. Begin Slideshow
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MLS Team of the Week: BWP, Villa, Kaka Headline Week 23’s Best

Week 23 in Major League Soccer belonged to some of the top scorers in the league. Bradley Wright-Phillips, David Villa and Dom Dwyer were among the players who found the back of the net on two occasions over the weekend.  In addition to a few big performances at the forward position, a good amount of midfielders also put their names on the scoreboard more than once.  Due to the plethora of solid attacking in Week 23, we set up our Bleacher Report MLS Team of the Week in a 3-4-3 formation. Continue reading to see who else was named to our best XI from the weekend. Begin Slideshow
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Relentless Real Salt Lake Surging Up MLS Western Conference Table

Real Salt Lake manager Jeff Cassar admits he uses the word "relentless" a lot when he speaks with his team.  Although the results have only started to show the relentless nature of the club, the Claret and Cobalt have stuck to their aggressive mindset for the entire Major League Soccer regular season.  Cassar uses the term because of how many different players in the RSL starting lineup can hurt opponents on a weekly basis.  “I use the word relentless a lot when speaking with the team, and you can only be relentless when you have depth and when you can start one way and bring players on to keep exactly what we’re trying to do at the beginning of the game and doing it at the end," Cassar told Bleacher Report.   That approach has been apparent over the last three matches as RSL beat Philadelphia on the road and produced a fine performance against Chicago at home in Week 22. Between those two victories, the club lost to Toronto FC at BMO Field in a midweek match, but despite the defeat, Cassar believes his side played well.  “I think for the most part of this year, we’ve been playing very good soccer," Cassar said. "We ...
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