As the summer hits, so does the midway point in the 2019 Major League Soccer regular season. Teams fighting for a spot in the playoffs this Fall are being led by players who are having outstanding seasons.
Here are five of the best players you need to know about in MLS right now:
5. Cristian Espinoza, San Jose Earthquakes
Even when the San Jose Earthquakes had a nightmare of a start to the season, Espinoza stood out as the lone bright spot. With the Quakes back in the playoff conversation after surprisingly turning everything around in the matter of a month, Espinoza’s star shines even brighter out on the wing in the attack and he’s become a huge part of the Earthquakes’ turnaround and playoff aspirations.
4. Wayne Rooney, D.C. United
Before the English legend Rooney arrived at D.C. United last season, D.C. was a club struggling to get by. Since his arrival, not only did they turn everything around, they’ve become one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference. They’re currently holding onto third place in table while Rooney is fourth in the league in scoring with nine goals so far this season.
Here also scored this gem on Wednesday against Orlando City:
3. Josef Martinez, Atlanta United
You can’t have a top players list without the most prolific scorer in MLS right now. Josef Martinez broke last year’s scoring record, running away with the Golden Boot and the 2018 MVP with his 31 goals. Martinez has picked up where he left off, scoring 10 goals so far this year for an Atlanta United team that has worked their way back into the top-five of the East after struggling out of the gates.
2. Zlatan Ibrahimovic, L.A. Galaxy
He may be second in the league in scoring, but he’s number one in just about everyone’s heart – mostly. He fills entre stadiums by himself, not just at home, but on the road, drawing crowds everywhere he’s gone, selling out opposing stadiums. His 11 goals and his presence on the pitch has guided the Galaxy toward second in the West behind bitter cross-town rival LAFC.
1. Carlos Vela, Los Angeles Football Club
If last year was Carlos Vela’s and LAFC’s introduction to MLS, this year is the year the black and gold take over the league, and it’s led by their first signing, Carlos Vela. Vela’s 16 goals already surpassed his goals total from last year (14) and he’s been a huge reason for LAFC’s success and rise to the top of the league this year. Vela is the most dangerous player in Major League Soccer, on the most dangerous team right now.