Summer is here as Week 17 in MLS saw all the action heat up on the pitch.
From coaches getting fired to several players making a case for MVP, this week didn’t disappoint. From Julian Carranza’s incredible performance for the Philadelphia Union to Real Salt Lake’s Rubio Rubin scoring a brace to help his team win, gameweek 17 had tons of attacking talent on display.
As the season reaches its midpoint, we can anticipate an increase in the intensity of play on the field as teams compete for a coveted spot in the top nine of their respective conferences.
Here are the top five players from week 17…
Luciano Acosta is FC Cincinnati’s talisman for a good reason. Since the 2023 season started, Acosta has been on fire for the Ohio-based team, scoring seven goals in his last 15 matches.
His latest game against the saw the Argentine score once more as Cincinnati won their 12th game of the season against the Chicago Fire.
Acosta’s 83rd-minute winner extended Cincinnati’s lead on top of the Eastern Conference with the team now holding an eight point gap to second placed team Nashville SC.
The 29-year-old’s fine form is why the men in orange are in the midst of a record-breaking year.
The Orlando City Lions were roaring with pride as winger Facundo Torres carried them to a 3-0 thumping win over New York Red Bulls.
Torres may not have had the best start to 2023, only scoring twice in his first eight games, but he more than made up for his slow start by putting two past the Red Bulls in Orlando’s sixth win of the season.
The young Uruguayan was a key offensive player for the men in purple as he finished the game with two goals, two passes into the final third, and two chances created.
Real Salt Lake pushed themselves into a top nine spot in the Western Conference thanks to forward Rubio Rubin’s two goals in their 2-1 win over Austin FC.
Rubin has not had the best start to 2023, not netting a single goal until this latest match-up.
No matter how the 27-year-old started, he more than made up for it, ending his match against Austin with two created chances and two goals on just 18 touches.
The Columbus Crew is in excellent form at the moment, and their most recent 4-2 thrashing of Charlotte FC is proof that the Wilfried Nancy-led side is the real deal.
This time, it was forward Christian Ramirez who stood out among his teammates, scoring twice as the Crew jumped to fifth place in the East.
Ramirez finished the match with two goals and an assist on 23 touches.
Though many of the plaudits will be aimed at teammates Lucas Zelarayan and Cucho Hernandez, Ramirez has shown that he is just as important for the Crew as the aforementioned duo.
Julian Carranza showed just how important he is for the Philadelphia Union in their 3-0 win over CF Montreal.
The Argentine is in incredible form as he slotted in his second brace in the last three games. Though the Union may have gotten off to a slow start at the beginning of the year, they look just as dangerous as they’ve ever been as of late; Carranza’s offensive output is a reason for that.
He ended the match on an impressive note, scoring twice on 65 touches, having a total of nine shots toward goal and one created chance.
As the Union inches closer to the top spot of the East, the young Argentine will more than likely continue to be the focal point of the Philadelphia attack.