MLS' 20th season has gotten off to an exciting start and now we can shower some of the players who have impressed us with praise.
The five candidates for the Etihad Airways MLS Player of the Month award in March have all shown their worth in the first month of the season. Among the five candidates is former Ballon d'Or winner and last year's Golden Boot winner.
How it works: At the end of each month, the MLSsoccer.com editorial staff selects the five final nominees. These are then put to a vote among you, the fans. Voting for the March POTM will be open until 11:59 pm PT, Wednesday, April 1.
Kaká, Orlando City SC — One of the biggest signings of the offseason, Kaká has taken to MLS quickly. The 2002 World Cup winner scored a goal at the death against NYCFC to salvage a point in the opener and put on a display deserving of acclaim against the Montreal Impact.
Ike Opara, Sporting Kansas City — The MLS veteran has finally found a home in Kansas City. The center back has been a constant threat in the air for SKC and has scored to two goals himself, including the game-winner against NYCFC. The 26-year-old has also been strong on defense, helping SKC keep two clean sheets in four games.
Blas Perez, FC Dallas — Super Ratón had one of his best months in MLS in March, which is saying something considering the Panamanian international's resumé in the league. The star striker scored three goals in the month, including two game-winners.
Octavio Rivero, Vancouver Whitecaps — There was a little hype around this Uruguayan striker coming into the season. So far he has lived up to all of it. Rivero has led the line for the Whitecaps as they have captured wins in each of the last three games. The Designated Player has scored three goals in the Caps' four games, including late game-winners against Chicago and Orlando City.
Bradley Wright-Phillips, New York Red Bulls — Some thought BWP's production would falter without the presence of Thierry Henry. That has not been the case for the Golden Boot winner. The Englishman came alive for the Red Bulls in their last two games, collecting a total of 2 goals and 2 assists in the team's last two wins.