New York may have slumped through June, but that didn’t stop Thierry Henry from topping the Castrol Index for the third straight month.
The French striker remained atop the rankings with a rating of 9.33, just 0.06 ahead of FC Dallas defender George John. Henry notched two goals in four games last month, and while that didn’t lead the league, his timely scores and overall performance were enough for him to keep his grip on No. 1.
With a goal Wednesday night against Toronto FC, Henry now leads the race for the Golden Boot as well with nine tallies on the season. He’s also kicked in four assists for good measure.
All told, eight New York Red Bulls outfield players are ranked in the top-100 (including Dwayne De Rosario, who played for the team in June).
Henry wasn’t the only one who retained his spot in the top 10. John, who was seventh overall at the end of May, climbed five spots and ranks second. The burly defender doesn’t do too much that’s flashy — though he did score a goal several weeks ago against Portland — rather he plays the kind of solid, mistake-free soccer that scores well for central defenders.
Rounding out the top five are Nat Borchers, the Real Salt Lake central defender who moved up one place to third; Landon Donovan, who climbed a spot to fourth despite missing all of June while on Gold Cup duty with the US national team; and Donovan’s Galaxy teammate, central defender Omar Gonzalez, who has keyed LA’s long unbeaten run.
Brek Shea, who has led FC Dallas on their tear up the standings, climbed 36 spots to No. 18 overall, while Chicago Fire defender Yamith Cuesta did even better: He jumped 133 spots to No. 27 in the rankings. The Fire allowed just two goals in six games in June.
On the flip side, Portland Timbers central defender Mamadou “Futty” Danso and RBNY striker Luke Rodgers both dropped out of the top 10. Danso dropped 23 spots to 26th overall, while Rodgers dropped from ninth to 31st. Both players were injured for much of the month.
Injuries and absences in general played a significant role in the rankings, as players like Rafa Márquez, David Ferreira and Steve Zakuani all plummeted down the Index.
The month’s biggest climber was Sporting Kansas City right back Chance Myers. The former No. 1 overall SuperDraft pick had struggled to win a regular spot in his first three years in the league, but slide into the SKC starting lineup in May and hasn’t looked back. Myers jumped 201 spots to 85th in the overall standings, and looks like he may make good on that draft pick after all.
Myers' teammate and Henry's countryman, SKC defender Aurélien Collen, also made a significant jump, climbing 156 spots to 59th overall. San Jose Earthquakes forward Steven Lenhart was the other big mover, coming in 77th overall — 163 spots higher than his previous ranking.
As the year continues and sample sizes become larger, there will probably be less volatility in the rankings.
Which is a fancy way of saying, “Get used to seeing Thierry Henry in the top spot.” It doesn’t look like he plans to give it up any time soon.