Players across Major League Soccer got down to the nitty gritty in the final month of the 2016 regular season. But just who was October's top performer?
The MLSsoccer.com editorial staff selects five Etihad Player of the Month nominees at the end of each month. The winner is then determined by your votes; voting for the October award is open until 10 am ET on Wednesday.
This month's nominees are:
Bradley Wright-Phillips, New York Red Bulls: The 2016 Golden Boot winner scored four times in October, finishing the season with 24 goals, as the Red Bulls went 3-0-0 in October and finished atop the Eastern Conference to secure a spot in the 2017/18 CONCACAF Champions League.
Sacha Kljestan, New York Red Bulls: Kljestan, who won the league assists crown with 19, had three assists and a goal for the Red Bulls in September. No wonder he's back in Jurgen Klinsmann's US national team picture.
Walker Zimmerman, FC Dallas: The young defender led a stifling back line that conceded just one goal in September as Dallas went 2-0-1, claimed the Supporters' Shield and moved one step closer to MLS' first domestic treble.
Dominique Badji, Colorado Rapids: The Rapids came up short in the Shield race, but still secured a CCL spot for 2017/18 with a 3-1-1 record in October. Badji was instrumental in Colorado's securing a first-round postseason bye, with two goals and three assists.
Justin Meram, Columbus Crew SC: Crew SC, the 2015 MLS Cup runners-up, went 1-2-1 in October and missed out on a return to the postseason. Meram was a bright spot in the midst of the disappointment, finishing the month with a goal and four assists.