Castrol Weekly Top 20: Henry class of MLS once again

Weekly Castrol Index: Week 5

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In an effort to bring more clarity to the Castrol Index, we’re introducing a new feature: the Weekly Top 20 Performers.

It works just like it sounds, presenting the week’s top 20 players based upon points, as tabulated by Castrol’s formula, per 90 minutes. We’ll be presenting this every week throughout the season, and what happens one weekend has no bearing on what the numbers say the next. This is merely a snapshot of one week in time.

Thierry Henry’s on quite a roll, three straight weeks of scoring goals and setting up teammates seemingly at will.

Henry ran away with last week’s rankings, easily outpacing Kelyn Rowe by nearly 400 points. And although he wasn’t quite so dominant in week five, the end result was exactly the same: Henry finished comfortably atop the weekly Castrol Index with 1,590 points – 151 better than his closest competitor.

Weekly Top 20 Performers - Week 5
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Rank Player Team Points/90
1 Thierry Henry New York 1,590
2 Chris Wondolowski San Jose 1,439
3 Kenny Cooper New York 1,389
4 Ugo Ihemelu Dallas 1,317
5 Danny Koevermans Toronto FC 1,281
6 Alejandro Moreno Chivas USA 1,229
7 Nick Rimando Real Salt Lake 1,174
8 Álvaro Saborío Real Salt Lake 1,169
9 Kei Kamara Kansas City 1,103
10 Chad Marshall Columbus 1,090
11 Michael Gspurning Seattle 1,059
12 Nick LaBrocca Chivas USA 1,027
13 Donovan Ricketts Montreal 1,013
14 Ryan Meara New York 982
15 Troy Perkins Portland 972
16 Donovan Ricketts Montreal 934
17 Fabián Espíndola Real Salt Lake 933
18 Fabián Espíndola Real Salt Lake 918
19 Dejan Jakovic D.C. United 918
20 Matt Reis New England 913

Unsurprisingly, Henry, who scored twice and added an assist on the road against the Crew to register his third straight match with at least two goals and an assist, was followed closely by his early competition for the Golden Boot – San Jose’s Chris Wondolowski and RBNY teammate Kenny Cooper. Both forwards had braces of their own, as Cooper buried Columbus early and Wondolowski ruined Vancouver’s shutout streak with two typically precise finishes.

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Cooper’s performance vaulted him 21 spots in the season’s overall Castrol Index to No. 6 – one spot behind Wondolowski – meaning all three are in the top six after a month of competition, joined by Kei Kamara (No. 2), Dominic Oduro (No. 3) and Robbie Keane (No. 4). Predictably, Henry rules the roost, averaging a league-best 1,244 points per 90 minutes.

Including the weekend’s three luminaries, this week’s Top 20 was dominated by forwards and goalkeepers, with just three defenders and one midfielder earning a place on the list.

FC Dallas’ Ugo Ihemelu, who clocked in at No. 4 after scoring a 95th-minute winner, the Crew’s Chad Marshall, who headed in a consolation goal against rampant New York finished 11th, and D.C. United’s Dejan Jakovic (19th) were the backline representatives, while Nick LaBrocca was 13th after helping Chivas USA to a comeback victory in Portland.

None of those four are in the top 20 of the season standings, however, unlike RSL’s Fabián Espíndola (No. 14), who found himself with two entries in the week’s top 20 via solid performances against Montreal (18th) and Colorado (19th). He was joined by teammates Álvaro Saborío (ninth for his performance against the Rapids) and Nick Rimando (eighth for shutting out Montreal).

Montreal goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts also make two appearances in the weekly index after allowing one goal in two games against RSL and Toronto, the latter representing the Impact's first-ever MLS victory.

In the season’s overall rankings, one player made a massive jump into the top 20 from a place in the 200s, as Chivas USA’s Alejandro Moreno leapt 214 spots from 233rd to 19th following his second start of the season against the Timbers. While Moreno is averaging 749 points per 90 minutes, his place in the rankings is skewed by the fact that he’s only played 162 minutes in 2012 and finished sixth this week with 1,229 points.

He wasn’t even the biggest climber, either. Former teammates combined for the biggest respective jumps, with Montreal’s Colleen Warner moving up 243 places into 43rd and RSL’s Will Johnson making a 229-place move up to 80th.

The player who plummeted the most was quite the surprise, as Landon Donovan dropped 84 places following the LA Galaxy’s 1-0 defeat in Kansas City, relinquishing his hold on 39th in exchange for 123rd.

In general, LA have the least top-100 ranked players so far in the season’s Castrol Index. Only Keane and Edson Buddle (No. 36) made the cut. Mike Magee and Donovan dropped out after a rough week.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, Sporting Kansas City and RSL can lay claim to the most Castrol top 100s. Sporting KC have 11 players on that list, including eight in the top 50. RSL are second with nine representatives, with six outside the top 50.