Player Power Rankings: April 8th, 2016

Each season different players will rise to the occasion and provide a real bump to their team’s chances. This list is not a measure of talent, as much as it is a list of the most impactful players this season. Season results, combined with “what have you done for me lately”, are just a couple of the factors taken into account on our Player Power Rankings

1. Luis Suarez

Suarez was the man on the end of both goals for Barcelona in their 2-1 victory over Atletico Madrid in the Champions League. He continues to be a polarizing figure, as he received no punishment after kicking Juanfran in the first half. Either way, he was on the pitch and scored the two critical goals that gave Barcelona the win.

2. Joe Hart

Joe Hart in the Champions League

Getty Images

Hart denied a crucial Zlatan Ibrahimovic penalty that completely changed the flow of the match. He was solid all day, as Man City tied PSG in Paris. Now they get to go home with a great chance to progress to the Champions League semi-finals. Hart has been one of the constant bright spots for Manchester City this season, putting in good performances regularly.

3. Brek Shea

Every once in awhile, Shea shows why he is so highly regarded for his talent. He scored an absolute screamer off a Kaka pass, proving his quality that fans love to see. He is playing at left back, somewhere the USMNT needs drastic help. Shea has an opportunity to jump back into the fray, and at 26, still has time to establish himself as a force in the game.

4. Ricardo Rodriguez

Wolfsburg just dominated Real Madrid during the opening leg of their Champions League tie 2-0. Rodriguez put away an early penalty and shut down the attacking Madrid stars on the other end. Holding Ronaldo scoreless is a feat in and of itself, but also scoring a goal as a defender is top class work for Rodriguez.

5. Arturo Vidal

It wasn’t pretty, but Vidal’s goal proved to be the winner in the 1-0 victory. Benfica put up quite a fight, although Bayern was strong enough to will a win in the end. Vidal has settled quite nicely into the German champions side, flowing with the midfield well. It may have been ugly, but it got the job done this week.

6. Kaka

The Orlando City star was absolutely superb in his return, scoring a goal, and aiding Brek Shea in his amazing goal. The Brazilian has taken his project in the MLS very seriously. It is clear he isn’t just here for a paycheck, and legitimately wants to grow the game. Tip of the cap to him for that.

7. Luis Solignac

For a few years now, the Colorado Rapids have wandered a wasteland in the MLS, but now there is seemingly renewed hope in the club. Luis Solignac scored the winner over a 10-man Toronto, and the club sits in a playoff spot in the table. The midseason addition of Tim Howard is sure to add more energy as well, but for now, a great start is outstanding.

8. Manuel Neuer

On a team full of superstars, it is easy to forget about Neuer. He has struggled a bit over the past few weeks, but seemingly got his head right for their Champions League tilt with Benfica, preserving a clean sheet. The Sweeper Keeper continues to stake his claim as the top goalkeeper in the world in dramatic fashion.

9. Thorgan Hazard

In the race for 3rd place and a Champions League spot in the Bundesliga, Borussia Monchengladbach got a huge win over Hertha BSC. The 5-0 drubbing was led by a brace from Hazard, and pulled them within 3 points of Hertha for 3rd place. Hazard has seen something of a career revival at Monchengladbach, taking over the midfield there.

10. Bob Bradley

Though not a player, Bradley’s managerial stint with Le Havre seems to be going well. He has the club back in 3rd place, and fighting for promotion to Ligue 1. He is a trailblazer for American managers abroad, and he doesn’t get nearly enough props for doing so. But with Le Havre, he just might become the first American to manage a club in a Big 5 European league.

 

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About the author: Dominic Habjan

 

I am a contributor to SoccerPro’s blogs, and truly enjoy writing about the World’s Game. I support Sporting KC, US National Team, and Slovenian National Team. I follow the Premier League but don’t necessarily have a favorite club. I am an avid sports fan, but prefer college to professional leagues in every sport with exception to soccer. I love the Mizzou Tigers, KC Royals, and KC Chiefs. Outside sports I enjoy movies, music, and musical theatre.

Website: https://www.soccerpro.com

 

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