The New York Red Bulls did not win a single game in May, but striker Thierry Henry continues to come up trumps.
The French ace is on top of MLS Castrol Index for May, the same position he held in the April edition. His retention of the number-one spot comes after he scored three goals in three appearances in May.
Henry is now tied for second in the MLS Golden Boot race with 6 goals, but he is still two goals behind the league’s leading scorer: LA’s Landon Donovan, who comes in at #5 in May. The US international had a month to remember, scoring 6 goals in a busy stretch that saw the Galaxy play seven games, winning the last four.
Donovan’s performance pushed him up 98 spots from #103 to #5 on the May Index. As impressive as that climb is, he’s not the only top 5 player who made a huge climb. Seattle’s Alvaro Fernandez, who saw only spot action early in the season, returned to the starting lineup, began scoring, and is now at #2, up a whopping 155 points.
Portland defender Futty Danso, who notched a winner and an equalizer for the Timbers, leaped even farther, going up 175 spots to #3, and RSL’s Nat Borchers rose 136 spots to #4.
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But the biggest climber isn’t in the top 10. In fact, he isn’t even in the top 100, which shows just how far he had to go. Portland Timbers goalkeeper Troy Perkins, who did not see any action until the sixth game of the season, won the starting spot in mid April and posted a 2-1-1 record in May that saw him climb 179 spots. He’s now at #143 with a bullet.
It wasn’t all upbeat news on the list, of course. The Philadelphia Union, who ascended to the top of the Eastern Conference with a 2-2-1 record in May, have only one player in the top 25 on the list, centerback Danny Califf. In fact, they have only four players in the top 100. Unsurprisingly for the side with the second best goal-against average, those four comprise their starting backline.
On the player front, the New England Revolution’s Pat Phelan took the biggest drop, falling 149 spots, from #46 to #195, principally due to his shift from the starting XI to the bench following a red card on May 9 in a loss to Real Salt Lake.
This being early in the season, it’s no surprise that there is so much volatility. As more games are played, things should settle down. For now, though, things are up and down for everyone.
Except for Thierry Henry, of course.