Castrol Weekly Top 20: Sometimes good guys do finish first

Castrol Index - Eddie Gaven (Week 24)

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It seems to always happen to Eddie Gaven.

The Columbus Crew midfield stalwart is the star of Week 24 in MLS — he ranks No. 1 on this week's Castrol Top 20 — but all the talk in Crew-landia is dominated by newcomer Federico Higuaín, the next coming of Guillermo Barros Schelotto, who made a promising debut in Houston.

He may never have the spotlight all to himself, but the 25-year-old Gaven continues to be one of the model professionals in MLS, now in his 10th league season. And the reluctant star with the unassuming posture and anti-poster boy facial hair has become an increasingly visible leader on the Crew this year, scoring on a clinical breakaway against the Dynamo.

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Despite finishing tops in the Castrol Top 20, Gaven couldn't replicate the feat of Portland Timbers midfielder Darlington Nagbe, who appears twice on the list (No. 11 and No. 15). His performance in midweek against Toronto FC and then on the weekend against the New York Red Bulls both ranked among the Top 20.

Equally encouraging for Timbers fans is the fact that winger Sal Zizzo finished at No. 4 after a Team of the Week showing at Red Bull Arena. Also, Portland forward Bright Dike, who made his first MLS start over the weekend, did enough to break into this week's list (No. 20).

Designated Players Thierry Henry (No. 2), Marco Di Vaio (No. 5), Robbie Keane (No. 8), Fabián Castillo (No. 10) and Eric Hassli (No. 18) all earned their title by figuring in the Top 20.

Meanwhile, Hassli's teammate Luis Silva (No. 3) is one of two MLS rookies as Chicago defender Austin Berry makes yet another appearance among the league's elite (No. 7).

Weekly Top 20 Performers - Week 24+ Powered by Castrol Index

Rank Player Position Team Minutes Points vs.
1 Eddie Gaven Midfielder Columbus Crew 90 1,289 Houston Dynamo
2 Thierry Henry Forward NY Red Bulls 90 1,211 Portland Timbers
3 Luis Silva Forward Toronto FC 90 1,181 Portland Timbers
4 Sal Zizzo Midfielder Portland Timbers 66 1,169 Toronto FC
5 Marco Di Vaio Forward Montreal Impact 74 1,147 San Jose
6 Jimmy Nielsen Goalkeeper Sporting Kansas City 90 1,146 Toronto FC
7 Austin Berry Defender Chicago Fire 90 1,139 New England
8 Robbie Keane Forward LA Galaxy 90 1,130 Columbus Crew
9 Brian Mullan Midfielder Colorado Rapids 90 1,091 Chivas USA
10 Fabian Castillo Midfielder FC Dallas 83 1,070 Vancouver
11 Darlington Nagbe* Midfielder Portland Timbers 90 1,025 NY Red Bulls
12 Jeff Parke Defender Seattle Sounders 90 1,006 Vancouver
13 Heath Pearce Defender NY Red Bulls 90 983 Portland Timbers
14 Brian Carroll Midfielder Philadelphia Union 90 960 D.C. United
15 Darlington Nagbe* Midfielder Portland Timbers 90 956 Toronto FC
16 Chris Pontius Forward D.C. United 90 945 Philadelphia Union
17 Eddie Johnson Forward Seattle Sounders 90 928 Vancouver
18 Eric Hassli Forward Toronto FC 80 922 Portland Timbers
19 Bill Hamid Goalkeeper D.C. United 90 915 Philadelphia Union
20 Bright Dike Forward Portland Timbers 73 848 NY Red Bulls

*Makes list twice based on team's two games in Week 24