Major League Soccer

MLS Week 30 best players - ranked

Chris Smith
Brenner scored his second hat-trick of the season on Saturday.
Brenner scored his second hat-trick of the season on Saturday. / Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Week 30 is done and we're now in the final sprint of the 2022 MLS season.

Some teams are in the Playoffs and some have been eliminated, but most of the league is still battling to make the top seven in their respective Conferences.

The latest round of matches helped decide quite a bit and brought us plenty more drama, so let's take a look back at some of the best players from Week 30:

5. Jhon Duran (Chicago Fire)

The Chicago Fire aren't quite dead yet, beating Inter Miami 3-1 on Saturday after going five games without a win and four without a goal since mid-August.

Colombian forward Jhon Duran was the inspiration, peppering the Miami goal with six shots, two of which he converted to put his side 1-0 and 3-1 up. Duran competed well with the Miami backline, winning five of his total nine duels.

Still only 18, Duran is yet to show the sort of consistency Chicago need to become a real Playoffs contender. However, there have enough been flashes of his talent to suggest he could be a hit next year and this was one of them.

4. Raul Ruidiaz (Seattle Sounders)

The Seattle Sounders sent out a real statement to the rest of the Western Conference that they're not giving up on making the Playoffs, beating high-flying Austin FC 3-0 less than a week after their 2-1 win against the Houston Dynamo.

As he so often has done over the years, Raul Ruidiaz spearheaded Seattle's efforts, helping himself to a first-half brace.

Both goals were vintage Ruidiaz, arriving in the right place at the right time. The brace was even more telling given they were the Peruvian's only really telling contributions to the match.

But then, Ruidiaz only needs one moment to hurt you, let alone two.

3. Juan Purata (Atlanta United)

Air Force Juan flew again on Saturday as Juan Purata scored not one, not two, but three goals in Atlanta United's exciting and extremely important 4-2 win against Toronto FC.

Okay, so two failed Purata tackles played a big part in Toronto scoring twice at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, hence why the Mexican is only third on this list.

But it's still a center-back scoring a hat-trick, with all three goals coming in the form of headers from corners.

Purata now has in 13 appearances in MLS, placing him third on the scoring charts at Atlanta United, where he's quickly becoming a cult hero.

2. Jesus Ferreira (FC Dallas)

The battle to become the USMNT's No.9 at the World Cup is becoming searingly hot and on Saturday, Jesus Ferreira made his latest statement.

Ferreira grabbed another brace to fire FC Dallas to a 2-1 win over Supporters' Shield hopefuls LAFC, taking his tally for the season to 18 in MLS play - tying Dallas' single-season scoring record and climbing to fourth in the Golden Boot race.

The 21-year-old was a menace all evening but it was the circumstance and nature of his goals that really set Ferreira apart; scoring twice in three minutes to overturn a 1-0 deficit, with some very quick thinking involved on both.

1. Brenner (FC Cincinnati)

A hat-trick is usually enough to win any Player of the Week battle (sorry Purata) and it's the case again in Week 30 with FC Cincinnati's Brenner.

The Brazilian striker helped himself to his second hat-trick of the 2022 season on Saturday as Cincy demolished the San Jose Earthquakes 6-0 - the club's biggest-ever win in MLS and their sixth home win of the season, which is one more than they managed in their first three campaigns combined.

Brenner's goals brought a bit of everything: smart movement in the box, ice-cool composure from the penalty spot, and intense desire and work-rate in the final third.

The Quakes couldn't live with him.

Honorable mentions: Mikael Uhre, Victor Wanyama, Kai Wagner, Daniel Gazdag, Steve Clark, Gyasi Zardes, Jack Elliott, Thiago Almada.

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