Major League Soccer

MLS Week 13 best players - ranked

Chris Smith
Mukhtar and Sapong combined to ruthless effect.
Mukhtar and Sapong combined to ruthless effect. / Andrew Nelles / Tennessean.com / USA
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Week 13 of the 2022 MLS season is done and though it's an unlucky number for some, others used it as a chance to thrive.

The Houston Dynamo gave the LA Galaxy a lesson in soccer on their own patch, Nashville SC and Atlanta United battled it out to a draw after a major weather delay, and Inter Miami stopped a recent mini-slump by beating the New York Red Bulls 2-0 at home.

That was just the tip of the iceberg in what was another busy, action-packed weekend. To help you make a little more sense of it all, let us guide you through the top five players from MLS Week 13:


5. Hany Mukhtar (Nashville SC)

Most expected Nashville to kick on fast once they finally moved into GEODIS Park but so far, they've continued to be just as average as they were at the start of the season.

Gary Smith's side are getting too bogged down in deep areas and have lost fluidity in possession.

However, they do have two excellent outlets up top in Hany Mukhtar and CJ Sapong. Focusing on the former, Mukhtar remains one of the most dangerous and talented attacking players in MLS and he proved it on Saturday, assisting the opening goal and scoring the second as Nashville twice took the lead against Atlanta United before drawing 2-2.

Strangely, this was a quiet night for Mukhtar by his own standards, at least in terms of his overall play. And yet he still came up with two huge moments.

4. Drake Callender (Inter Miami)

Despite coming out on the wrong end of a 2-0 defeat, the New York Red Bulls played pretty well again on the road against Inter Miami. They had 15 shots compared to 11 for the hosts, controlled 54% possession, and generated a pretty solid 1.33xG.

The reason they left DRV PNK Stadium with nothing was the heroic performance of Herons goalkeeper Drake Callender. The 24-year-old made four important saves on the night - three from shots inside the box - while making four high claims and eight recoveries.

Callender mopped up, commanded his box, and came up with big moments. Everything you want from your goalkeeper.

3. Brandon Bye (New England Revolution)

Brandon Bye made four tackles, four clearances, and six recoveries to help keep FC Cincinnati at arm's length on Saturday - the Orange and Blue twice equalized but couldn't get in front on a stormy night in Ohio.

But it was the right-back's influence at the other end of the pitch that impressed far more. From four chances created, Bye notched a hat-trick of assists, setting up Sebastian Lletget, Adam Buksa, and Tommy McNamara en route to a 3-2 win.

The attacking instincts on show for all three assists were top-class, with Bye pushing high, beating defenders, and delivering precise, composed final balls.

The Revs simply don't pick up the points in this one without him.

2. CJ Sapong (Nashville SC)

As mentioned, Sapong has been helping Mukhtar carry Nashville at times, including on Saturday.

The former Chicago Fire striker scored the opening goal after being set up by Mukhtar, then returned the favor just seven minutes later as Nashville restored their lead following a Thiago Almada equalizer.

As always, Sapong battled hard, winning eight of his 12 aerial duels and three out of eight ground duels. On another day, this could have been a match-winning performance.

1. Sebastian Ferreira (Houston Dynamo)

Speaking of match-winning performances, Sebastian Ferreira was on fire as the Houston Dynamo gave the LA Galaxy a real working over on their own patch on Sunday.

The Paraguayan forward opened the scoring 11 minutes into Houston's 3- win in California, reacting first as Jonathan Bond spilled a shot inside his own box.

Ferreira then went on to provide the assists for Tyler Pasher and Thorleifur Úlfarsson to make it 3-0, all while hitting the woodwork to be denied a second of his own.

All while completing three dribbles, two interceptions, three recoveries, and drawing three fouls.

A true game-changer for the Dynamo.

Honorable mentions: Sergio Santos. Thiago Almadal, Ercan Kara, Francisco Calvo, Paul Arriola, Tommy McNamara, Michael Estrada, Julian Gressel.


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