Major League Soccer

MLS Week 24 best players - ranked

Chris Smith
Arango inspired LAFC to victory over RSL.
Arango inspired LAFC to victory over RSL. / Jeffrey Swinger-USA TODAY Sports
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Week 24 of the 2022 MLS regular season was arguably the most entertaining in league history.

A record was broken on Saturday as no fewer than 57 (FIFTY-SEVEN) goals were scored across the 13 games - 11 more than had ever been scored on a single day in MLS history. And that was all after the Vancouver Whitecaps' last-minute 2-1 turnaround against the Houston Dynamo on Friday night.



With all those goals, you can probably guess that we have an attack-heavy Players of the Week line-up this time around, but that's all part of the fun, right?


5. Lucas Zelarayan (Columbus Crew)

Lucas Zelarayan is hitting his best form just at the right time and on Saturday, he once again orchestrated a vital win in the Columbus Crew's battle to make the Playoffs.

The Armenia international notched a brace at Lower.com Field, first lobbing the ball into the far corner after a terrible mistake from NYCFC 'keeper Sean Johnson to put Columbus 2-1 up, before finishing low inside the box in the 75th minute to hand the hosts a 3-2 win.

On another day, Zelarayan might well have grabbed a hat-trick, but he still terrorized the New York defense with eight shots and once chance created.

4. Kacper Przybylko (Chicago Fire)

The jury has definitely been out on Kacper Przybylko's move to the Chicago Fire, with the Polish striker scoring just three goals in 19 appearances prior to Saturday's trip to Charlotte FC.

But Przybylko gave us all a stark reminder of the quality he showed during his Philadelphia Union days, scoring twice in the Fire's 3-2 win at Bank of America Stadium.

Following the shock of Yordy Reyna's first-minute opener, Przybylko hit back in the 21st minute, firing home a rebound from close range as goalkeeper Kristijan Kahlina spilled Gaston Gimenez's effort from distance.

And after a back and forth battle between the two sides, Przybylko delivered the killing blow, taking down Xherdan Shaqiri's sweeping pass and smashing the ball low into the far corner from just inside the box.

Przybylko kept the CLTFC center-backs pinned all evening and this was some way to end an eight-match drought in front of goal.

3. Sebastian Driussi (Austin FC)

There's absolutely no stopping Sebastian Driussi right now.

The Argentine sensation cemented his lead at the top of the MLS Golden Boot standings with another two goals as Austin FC drew 3-3 at home to the San Jose Earthquakes.

Driussi arrived late to fire Austin level in the 26th minute after they'd thrown away an early lead to go 2-1 behind, while he just about did enough to add the finishing touch to a nice team move to put the Verde and Black ahead just on half-time - though it did require a goalmouth scramble.

Austin threw away their lead right at the death, but through no fault of Driussi, who completed seven dribbles and attempted four shots on the night.

2. Gyasi Zardes (Colorado Rapids)

Like Przybylko, Gyasi Zardes has also come under scrutiny since changing clubs, scoring just three goals in 14 appearances for the Rapids following his move from the Columbus Crew.

But the USMNT striker doubled his tally on Saturday, netting a hat-trick as Colorado ran out 4-3 winners at home to Minnesota United.

All three goals were peak Zardes; nothing flashy or eye-catching, just a striker being in the right place at the right time to profit from a mistake or reach a cross.

For all the criticism, five of Zardes' six Rapids goals have come in his last five appearances.

1. Cristian Arango (LAFC)

Gareth Bale once again stole the headlines with an excellent solo goal as LAFC finished off Real Salt Lake 4-1 on Saturday. But dig a little deeper and you'll find that it was once again Cristian Arango at the heart of the victory.

The Colombian striker continued his recent tear with goals one and three as the Black and Gold ran riot at Rio Tinto Stadium.

If any young striker is looking for tips on how to score more goals, we'd like to direct them to Arango's second, where he makes a devastating near-post run and finds an instinctive finish with one touch of the ball.

However, we're absolutely all about his first goal, with Arango pulling off a stunning flick and backheel to completely throw RSL goalkeeper Zac MacMath.

That's nine goals in his last 10 games for Arango who, week after week, keeps showing exactly why he deserves to play alongside the likes of Bale and Carlos Vela in the best team Major League Soccer has to offer right now.

Honorable mentions: Hany Mukhtar, Alvaro Barreal, William Agada Daniel Salloi, Cucho Hernandez, Luciano Acosta, Xherdan Shaqiri, Henry Kessler, Jonathan Osorio.


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