Major League Soccer

MLS Week 22 best players - ranked

Chris Smith
Arango was the key man in LAFC's win over SKC.
Arango was the key man in LAFC's win over SKC. / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Week 22 of the 2022 MLS season is in the books and we're still no closer to knowing who will make the playoffs.

In each conference, the teams placed fifth (Orlando City and FC Dallas) are just 12 points clear of those in last (Sporting KC and DC United), with the woodchipper working at full capacity trying to figure out who will make the top seven.

Watch the story of Charlotte FC's journey to MLS in 90min's The Making of Charlotte FC, presented by DoorDash, on 90min channels now. Subscribe to our new US YouTube channel.

In the end, it'll probably come down to which team's star players step up the most as we enter the final sprint.

So, who brought it in MLS Week 22? Here are 90min's top five players:

5. Bongokuhle Hlongwane (Minnesota United)

After a run of four defeats, Minnesota United have found their groove, winning six and drawing one of their last seven matches - including a 4-0 thrashing of Premier League giants Everton in a friendly.

Their latest victory - 2-1 away at the Houston Dynamo - came thanks to a standout performance from Bongokuhle Hlongwane.

The South Africa international was a terror on MNUFC's right flank, assisting Franco Fragapane's opener just before half-time before doubling his side's lead in the 72nd minute.

Hlongwane created two chances and completed three dribbles on the night, and put in more than his fair share defensively.

4. Federico Bernardeschi (Toronto FC)

It didn't take long for Federico Bernardeschi to make his mark in Major League Soccer.

Within 10 minutes, the former Juventus man had his first assist, whipping a corner to the near post and onto the head of Michael Bradley. And just 21 minutes later, he had his first goal, sweeping into the far corner from outside the area.

By the time the referee whistled for the break, Toronto FC had crushed Charlotte FC 4-0.

Bernardeschi worked beautifully in tandem with his compatriot and fellow Italian national team star Lorenzo Insigne - who also notched an assist - throughout the first half.

Had they stayed on after half-time, both could have been in this list and much higher up. But this is just the start.

3. Romell Quioto (CF Montreal)

Romell Quioto netted a first-half brace to help CF Montreal win 2-1 at DC United, taking his tally for the season to nine goals.

Four of those have been winners, with only Austin FC's Maxi Urruti bettering that record (5).

Quioto's first on Saturday saw him profit from a terrible mistake by center-back Donovan Pines within the first minute, while for his second, he snuck behind the DCU defense before calmly lobbing goalkeeper Rafael Romo.

Given how dangerous he looked all night, Quioto could easily have ended up on three or four goals, but just the two were enough for Montreal.

2. Cristian Arango (LAFC)

For all the talk of how Gareth Bale would fit in alongside Carlos Vela and Brian Rodriguez, it's Cristian Arango delivering the goods for LAFC at the moment.

The Colombian forward was at it again in Kansas City on Saturday, opening the scoring in the 56th minute before assisting Bale's first-ever MLS goal on a breakaway in the 83rd.

2-0. Arango involved in both. Job done.

That's seven goals and an assist in Arango's last eight appearances.

1. Michael Bradley (Toronto FC)

As mentioned, Bradley headed home Bernardeschi's corner to make it 2-0 to TFC inside 10 minutes, but the former USMNT midfielder was not done there.

Bradley ended the half in incredible fashion, latching onto an Insigne backheel, charging through the CLTFC defense, and lifting the ball over goalkeeper Kristijan Kahlina.

From there, it was all about maintaining TFC's first clean sheet of the 2022 MLS season. Bradley did more than help there, making 10 recoveries, three tackles, two clearances, and two interceptions.

All it took to re-ignite Michael Bradley was the arrival of two Italy internationals. Who knew?

Honorable mentions: Chris Mueller, Sebastian Driussi, Joel Waterman, Jakob Glesnes, Xherdan Shaqiri, Jordan Morris, Lorenzo Insigne.