Seattle's Fernández takes top spot in latest Castrol Index
Seattle wrapped up the first trophy of the season on Tuesday night when they claimed the US Open Cup. And a few individual awards may not be far behind.
As it stands now at the beginning of October, Álvaro “Flaco” Fernández is the new leader atop the Castrol Index. The Uruguayan midfielder has been crucial in the Sounders’ run through the toughest part of the schedule, and both his scoring output and his ability to play a significant role setting up others is what spurred his rise to the top of the charts. Few create as many good chances over the course of 90 minutes as Fernández.
Nos. 2 and 3 in the Index stay the same, with Thierry Henry and Chance Myers once again holding down those positions. Henry didn’t have his most productive four weeks from a goals standpoint, but the Red Bulls did win twice in the same month for the first time since April, and Henry was there for most of it. His ability to drop into the midfield and create for others, completing passes at a high rate in the final third, is what accounts for his high rating.
The same goes for Myers, who appears to have staked his claim as the league’s premier overlapping fullback. The first overall pick in the 2008 MLS Draft has been rock-solid defensively, and in the attack has been a near-constant source of accurate crosses and deadly combination play.
Rounding out the top five are San Jose forward Chris Wondolowski, who broke a prolonged scoreless drought with a strong month for the Quakes, and Myers’ Sporting KC teammate Aurélien Collin. The big French defender managed to shake off a lingering back injury in September, and with his return to the lineup came a climb up the Eastern Conference table for Sporting.
Jámison Olave, who topped the Index at the end of August, fell eight places to No. 9 after a tough month for Real Salt Lake.
September’s MLS Player of the Month, Philadelphia Union’s Sébastien Le Toux, was one of the big risers, jumping 73 spots to 55th in the overall rankings. But he was outshone by Chivas USA’s Juan Pablo Ángel, whose glut of goals saw him climb 115 spots to No. 33 overall.
Not coming out so rosy were members of FC Dallas, who dropped almost across the board. George John slipped two places to No. 8, Ugo Ihemelu five spots to 18 and attacking duo Brek Shea and Marvin Chávez came in tied for 24th after falling one and two spots, respectively.
Of those who figure to be in the MVP race, D.C. United’s Dwayne De Rosario jumped 16 places to No. 19 overall; Mauro Rosales, having seen his minutes limited through injury, dropped 10 spots to No. 74; Kyle Beckerman tumbled 27 places to 69th; and Omar Gonzalez climbed one spot to No. 6.