This news may creep up on people with one week left in the 2012 regular season: Robbie Keane is the most important player on the LA Galaxy.
The Irish Designated Player added another goal in a 2-2 draw against San Jose on Sunday and his performance against the newly crowned Supporters' Shield winners earned him the top spot in the Castrol Weekly Top 20 for Week 32. (See how players collect points in the Castrol methodology here.)
But with 16 goals and eight assists on the season, Keane's already the No. 1-ranked player in the overall Castrol Index and this chart says that he has outperformed Golden Boot leader and MVP frontrunner Chris Wondolowski, who came in at No. 9 in the Castrol Top 20 this week.
How influential has Keane been? In an injury-ravaged season for superstars David Beckham and Landon Donovan, the former EPL star has been LA's most consistent contributor despite also juggling national team commitments with the Republic of Ireland. In fact, in his 27 starts for the Galaxy this year he has contributed a goal or assist in 18 of them.
Keane is joined on this week's list by teammate Edson Buddle (No. 3), but Seattle goalkeeper Michael Gspurning may have enjoyed the best week of any player, appearing twice in the Top 20 for each of the two games he played. His performances ranked at No. 5 and No. 10, perhaps giving the Austrian a slight leg up on his rival for Goalkeeper of the Year, Jimmy Nielsen (No. 6).
Goalkeepers take up eight of the 20 spots in this edition of the Castrol Top 20, while there are just two defenders (Tony Beltran at No. 7 and Darrius Barnes at No. 20) and a lone rookie as Nick DeLeon makes a final Rookie of the Year push with a No. 2 finish.
Weekly Top 20 Performers - Week 32 Powered by Castrol Index
|1||Robbie Keane||Forward||LA Galaxy||90||1,410||SJ Earthquakes|
|2||Nick DeLeon||Midfielder||D.C. United||90||1,332||Columbus Crew|
|3||Edson Buddle||Forward||LA Galaxy||90||1,322||SJ Earthquakes|
|4||Blas Pérez||Forward||FC Dallas||90||1,289||Seattle Sounders|
|5||Michael Gspurning||Goalkeeper||Seattle Sounders||90||1,216||Real Salt Lake|
|6||Jimmy Nielsen||Goalkeeper||Sporting Kansas City||90||1,198||NY Red Bulls|
|7||Tony Beltran||Defender||Real Salt Lake||90||1,149||Seattle Sounders|
|8||Freddy Hall||Goalkeeper||Toronto FC||90||1,133||Montreal Impact|
|9||Chris Wondolowski||Forward||SJ Earthquakes||90||1,099||LA Galaxy|
|10||Michael Gspurning||Goalkeeper||Seattle Sounders||90||1,097||FC Dallas|
|11||Jack McInerney||Forward||Philadelphia Union||90||1,071||Houston Dynamo|
|12||Donovan Ricketts||Goalkeeper||Portland Timbers||90||1,049||Whitecaps FC|
|13||Troy Perkins||Goalkeeper||Montreal Impact||90||1,049||Toronto FC|
|14||Fredy Montero||Forward||Seattle Sounders||90||1,014||FC Dallas|
|15||Eddie Gaven||Midfielder||Columbus Crew||90||1,004||D.C. United|
|16||Brad Evans||Midfielder||Seattle Sounders||90||966||FC Dallas|
|17||Luis Robles||Goalkeeper||New York Red Bulls||90||958||Sporting KC|
|18||Collen Warner||Midfielder||Montreal Impact||90||938||Toronto FC|
|19||Steward Ceus||Goalkeeper||Colorado Rapids||90||912||Chivas USA|
|20||Darrius Barnes||Defender||New England Revolution||90||900||Chicago Fire|