Salloi has racked up 10 goals and five assists in 15 starts, enough to earn him some midseason individual recognition with his first-career MLS All-Star appearance. But should his name get floated more for the league's top individual honor?
The Extratime crew put that to debate on their latest episode, with co-host Andrew Wiebe presenting his case for Landon Donovan MLS MVP honors and what it might take for Salloi to credibly enter the discussion.
New England Revolution star Carles Gil is widely considered the current frontrunner for the award, but the playmaking Spaniard is currently sidelined with a minor injury, which could open the door for a dark-horse candidate. Co-host Charlie Davies said he respects the case Salloi has created for himself, but that he sees that next option as Seattle Sounders forward Raul Ruidiaz.
"I love the arguments," Davies said. "You can't argue where SKC are right now on the table. They're top of the Western Conference, they've jumped Seattle for the time being. But I think the only player right now who I think could jump Carlos Gil is Ruidiaz, if he goes on another scoring tear. Salloi would have to do this for the rest of the season with Carles Gil out for the rest of the season for him to jump Carles Gil. That's the distance Carles Gil has created between him and a player like Daniel Salloi."
That's not to say Salloi doesn't have strong credentials; it's simply about sustaining his current pace throughout the entirety of the 2021 season. While Davies said he doesn't see that as especially likely, it would be hard to deny Salloi's case if his form continues.
"If he [doubles his numbers] then, yes, you can hand him the MVP trophy," Davies said. "But I don't think he's going to do that.
"What I do think could happen is that Ruidiaz goes on an absolute scoring tear, especially when you factor in that Seattle seems to have gone into that midseason rut right now and then come playoff time they get going again. And we all know that Nico Lodeiro is back into the fold, just getting some minutes. When he's back on the pitch and you have that connection reestablished, that's who I think can take the MVP trophy."
Co-host David Gass also pointed out with the return of Alan Pulido, Salloi might not have to carry as much of the load.
"The other thing with Salloi is Pulido's back, [Johnny] Russell's going to rotate into those spots, he's probably not going to play as many minutes going forward and if Pulido plays well, it's harder to say Salloi is the lone reason [for their success]," Gass said.
With Salloi playing like this, countered Wiebe, it's hard to imagine Peter Vermes not penciling him in the lineup as much as he can.
"I don't know, man, you can't take him off the field," Wiebe said. "It's got to be Salloi, Pulido and Russell. I think he's got a chance [for MVP], but you know where I stand on Daniel Salloi."
For more from Extratime, check out the full episode here.