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MVP Power Rankings: Luis Suárez steps up for Inter Miami | MLSSoccer.com

MVP Power Rankings: Luis Suárez steps up for Inter Miami | MLSSoccer.com

The MVP Power Rankings are back. That’s right, it’s an even more subjective rankings column than the regular Power Rankings. A place where voters not only get to arbitrarily define “power,” but “most valuable” too.

Each month we’re checking in with MLS talent, staff, writers and editors to get their thoughts on the 2024 Landon Donovan MLS MVP race.

Fourteen (14) ballots were cast for this one. A first-place vote received 10 points, a second-place vote received five points, a third-place vote received three points, a fourth-place vote received two points and a fifth-place vote received one point. Ten (10) players received votes. No one put Lionel Messi first “just because,” which feels like growth from the electorate.

Riqui Puig – LA Galaxy (1 point)

The Galaxy’s dynamic attack goes as Puig does. It makes sense that he’d get a little bit of credit for LA’s excellent start.

Julián Carranza – Philadelphia Union (2 points)

Carranza has played a huge role in Philly’s undefeated start. The 23-year-old forward has four goals in five starts and, as always, is putting in solid work defensively. He’s on his way to another stellar season for the Union… if he isn’t transferred elsewhere this summer.

Christian Benteke – D.C. United (5 points)

Benteke has five goals in five starts for an upstart D.C. United side. There’s no reason to believe he’s going to slow down either. Per FBref, Benteke leads the league in xG and leads the league in xG+xA. Even with five goals in five games, he’s technically underperforming right now.

Dante Vanzeir – New York Red Bulls (8 points)

Folks, your… MLS assist leader? Alright then, sure. The striker has six assists on the year, all of them primary assists. He’s scored once as well despite only playing five games. That’s enough to put him on top of the league with 1.78 goal contributions per 90. That’s impressive output on a team sitting alone atop the early Supporters’ Shield standings.

Lionel Messi – Inter Miami CF (13 points)

He’s only started three games and only played 315 minutes. That hasn’t stopped him from scoring four times and dishing out four assists. That’s good for an almost Vanzeir-ian 1.43 goal contributions per 90.

Giakoumakis is bound to score at least one goal a game in MLS until the sun goes out. Them’s the rules. Unsurprisingly, he has five goals in four starts. He’s even added an assist. And man, he made it count.

He’s second in the league in goal contributions per 90. The only real question about Giakoumakis in this race is whether he’ll stay on the field long enough to pile up MVP-caliber numbers by the end of the year.

The Galaxy are as back as they’ve been in a long time. They can thank Paintsil for that.

Paintsil has made an immediate impact on the Galaxy attack, scoring twice, delivering two assists and passing the eye test in style. He makes everything easier for LA, he’s a nightmare to deal with in the final third and it wouldn’t be surprising to see his production rise as he gets more experience with his new club.

A great way to get yourself involved in the MVP race is to go in front of a big crowd at Red Bull Arena and put on the kind of show they were expecting to see from Lionel Messi.

Morgan’s hat trick (and New York’s rout) against Miami is one of the moments of the season so far. But Morgan has been more than just one breakout performance. He’s tied atop the Golden Boot presented by Audi race with six goals on the season for the Shield-leading Red Bulls.

Even if he doesn’t end up as MVP, he already seems to be a lock for Comeback Player of the Year after missing nearly the entire 2023 season.

No one has more goals. Only two players have more assists. No one has more goal contributions (10). Arango’s six goals and four assists so far make him the most productive player in the league this season. He’s been good enough to carry RSL to wins.

Anyway, does anyone remember that time LAFC didn’t keep him around?

Arango may be leading in goal contributions, but Suárez has the edge if we’re only counting primary assists. He has five non-penalty goals and three primary assists on the season. Arango has five non-penalty goals and just one primary assist. So before you start worrying about Miami bias, the voters’ heads seem to be in the right place here. Keep in mind that Suárez has played almost 200 fewer minutes. Also keep in mind, he’s doing stuff like this:

Yeah. The early lead is deserved.

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