• Mon. Aug 15th, 2022

mls

2021 MLS Cup Playoffs: 14 clubs – 14 players to watchmls

With the Major League Soccerregular season concluded, the MLS Cup Playoffswill kick off on Saturday with two games. In the Eastern Conference, Philadelphia Unionwill host the New York Red Bulls(2:30 p.m. ET), and in the Western Conference, Sporting Kansas Cityface the Vancouver Whitecaps(5:00 p.m. ET). The action then continues on Sunday with New York City FCvs Atlanta United(3:00 p.m. ET). and Portland Timbersvs Minnesota United(5:30 p.m. ET). The qualifying round is then concluded on Tuesday when Nashville SChost Orlando City(8:00 p.m. ET) and Seattle Soundersface Real Salt Lake City(10:30 p.m. ET).

MLS Cup Playoffs Full overview

The winners of the qualifying round will advance the Conference semifinals. The Colorado Rapids, who finished first in the Western Conference and the New England Revolution, the club won both the Eastern Conference and the Supporters’ Shield—a trophy handed out to the club with the most points after the regular season—were given a bye and will be starting the playoffs in the Conference semifinals (second round).

Ahead of the MLS Cup Playoffs,Transfermarkthas updated the market values of 777 players (you can read about the update here). Now with the playoffs just about to kick off, we identify one player from each of the 14 clubs to watch ahead of the 2021 MLS Cup Playoffs.

Thiago Almada, Martínez, Velasco & Co. – The 25 most valuable MLS players Cristian Arango | LAFC | Market value: $6.6m &copyimago images

1/25

Santiago Sosa | Atlanta United | Market value: $6.6m &copyConcacaf

2/25

Facundo Torres | Orlando City | Market value: $6.6m &copyimago images

3/25

Efraín Álvarez | Los Angeles Galaxy | Market value: $6.6m &copyimago images

4/25

Hany Mukhtar | Nashville SC | Market value: $7.15m &copyimago images

5/25

Ryan Gauld | Vancouver Whitecaps | Market value: $7.15m &copyimago images

6/25

José Cifuentes | Los Angeles FC | Market value: $7.15m &copyimago images

7/25

Carles Gil | New England Revolution | Market value: $7.7m &copyMatthew Stith/MLS

8/25

Sebastián Driussi | Austin FC | Market value: $7.7m &copyimago images

9/25

Adam Buksa | New England Revolution | Market value: $7.7m &copyimago images

10/25

Valentín Castellanos | New York City FC | Market value: $7.7m &copyimago images

11/25

Brenner | FC Cincinnati | Market value: $7.7m &copyimago images

12/25

Talles Magno | New York City FC | Market value: $7.7m &copyimago images

13/25

Dániel Sallói | Sporting Kansas City | Market value: $8.25m &copyimago images

14/25

Raúl Ruidíaz | Seattle Sounders | Market value; $8.8m &copyimago images

15/25

Xherdan Shaqiri | Olympique Lyon | Market value: $8.8m &copyimago images

16/25

Alan Pulido | Sporting Kansas City | Market value: $8.8m &copySporting Kansas City

17/25

Alejandro Pozuelo | Toronto FC | Market value: $8.8m &copyimago images

18/25

Lucas Zelarayán | Columbus Crew | Market value: $8.8m &copyimago images

19/25

Marcelino Moreno | Atlanta United | Market value: $8.8m &copyimago images

20/25

Luiz Araujo | Atlanta United | Market value: $11m &copyimago images

21/25

Emmanuel Reynoso | Minnesota United | Market value: $11m &copyimago images

22/25

Alan Velasco | FC Dallas | Market value: $13.2m &copyfotobaires.com

23/25

Josef Martínez | Atlanta United | Market value: $13.75m &copyimago images

24/25

Thiago Almada | Atlanta United | Market value: $22m &copyfotobaires.com

25/25

2021 MLS Cup Playoffs 2021 MLS Cup Playoffs

MLS Cup Playoffs Preview: 14 players to watch
Eastern Conference:
Philadelphia Union: Paxten Aaronson

Brenden Aaronson’s little brother could become the next big Philadelphia Union export. The 18-year-old attacking midfielder has already scored three goals in 14 games this season and in some ways mirrors his older brother’s elegance. Paxten Aaronsonmight not always start, but when he is on the field his awareness and brilliant shot stand out. As a result,Transfermarkthas recently increased his market value from $440,000 to $1.65 million.

Market Value Paxten Aaronson P. Aaronson Attacking Midfield €3.00m

New York Red Bulls: Caden Clark

Caden Clarkloves scoring highlight reel goals. The 18-year-old attacking midfielder will play his last few games for the New York Red Bulls and then complete his transfer to Bundesliga side RB Leipzig. Clark has scored four goals and three assists in 24 MLS regular season games this season.“I look up to someone like [Manchester United’s] Bruno Fernandes, who reminds me of myself in some ways,” Clark said in an exclusive interview withTransfermarktlast year.

Market Value Caden Clark C. Clark Attacking Midfield €3.50m

New York City FC: Valentín Castellanos

Valentín Castellanoshas been sensational this season. The 23-year-old Argentine center-forward scored 19 goals and eight assists in 32 games for NYCFC this season. That is a goal every 145 minutes and the most goals scored in the league together with D.C. United forward Ola Kamara. Signed for just $468,000 from CA Torque in 2019, the striker has increased his market value to $7.7 million in the recent market value update.

Market Value Valentín Castellanos V. Castellanos Centre-Forward €12.00m

Atlanta United: Josef Martínez

The king has returned. Venezuelan striker Josef Martínezmissed most of last year with a serious ACL injury and without him the Five Stripes missed the playoffs altogether. After a slow start this season, Martínez scored 12 goals in just 24 games. Despite a drop in his market value over the recent years, Martínez remains the most valuable player in the league and one of the biggest attractions in the league overall.

Market Value Josef Martínez J. Martínez Centre-Forward €12.50m

Nashville SC: Hany Mukhtar

“We played a great season, but the playoffs as a single-elimination competition gives the league a push; that’s when it matters,” Hany Mukhtarsaid toTransfermarktin an exclusive interview this week. The 26-year-old native of Berlin scored 16 goals and 10 assists (12 if you use the MLS system) and was perhaps the best player in the league. The eyes will be on the German as he has emerged as a player, who could easily play in one of Europe’s top five leagues.

Market Value Hany Mukhtar H. Mukhtar Attacking Midfield €8.00m

Orlando City: Daryl Dike

After returning from his loan stint with Barnsley, Daryl Dikescored ten goals in 18 games. The 21-year-old is a powerful forward and the MLS Cup Playoffs will be his opportunity to put himself in the shopping window for a big winter transfer. Valued at $11 million, Dike is one of the most valuable players in the league and a crucial player for Orlando’s playoff ambitions.

Market Value Daryl Dike D. Dike Centre-Forward €10.00m

New England Revolution: Tajon Buchanan

Unlike Dike, Tajon Buchananhas already secured his move to Europe. The 22-year-old Canadian winger was one of the best players for both club and country over the last 12 months. Lightning fast, skillful and tactically intelligent, Buchanan scored eight goals and six assists in 27 games this season. Enough to convince Club Brugge to pay $7 million, plus bonuses for the Brampton, Ontario native. Buchanan is a star in the making and has seen his market value improve to $9.35 million in the recent market value update.

Market Value Tajon Buchanan T. Buchanan Right Winger €9.50m

Castellanos, Clark, Buchanan & Co.: 7 MLS players to watch in the Eastern Conference Paxten Aaronson | Philadelphia Union | Market value: $1.65m &copyimago images

1/7

Caden Clark | New York Red Bulls | Market value: $3.85m &copyimago images

2/7

Hany Mukhtar | Nashville SC | Market value: $7.15m &copyimago images

3/7

Valentín Castellanos | New York City FC | Market value: $7.7m &copyimago images

4/7

Tajon Buchanan | New England Revolution | Market value: $9.35m &copyimago images

5/7

Daryl Dike | Orlando City | Market value: $11m &copyimago images

6/7

Josef Martínez | Atlanta United | Market value: $13.75m &copyimago images

7/7

Western Conference:
Sporting Kansas City: Dániel Sallói

Dániel Sallóiis another player, who has seen his market value significantly improve in the recent market value update. The 25-year-old scored 16 goals and eight assists in 30 MLS regular season games for Sporting KC and, as a result, his market value improved from $3.3 million to $8.25 million, which makes him one of the ten most valuable Hungarians on the planet and most certainly a player to watch ahead of the MLS Cup Playoffs.

Market Value Dániel Sallói D. Sallói Left Winger €7.50m

Vancouver Whitecaps: Ryan Gauld

No other player in the league had a bigger impact on his club’s fortunes then Scottish midfielder Ryan Gauld. Gauld joined a hopeless Whitecaps side from Farense on July 31. Since then his impact has been impressive, the 25-year-old scored four goals and five assists in 18 games and formed a deadly partnership with Brian White. Vancouver fans have waited for years for the club to sign an impact player and Gauld is just that, a sensational number 10 that gives his club hope for a deep push in the upcoming playoffs.

Market Value Ryan Gauld R. Gauld Attacking Midfield €6.50m

Portland Timbers: Dairon Asprilla

Ten goals and three assists in 34 games, Dairon Asprillahas impressed this season. Signed from Atletico Nacional all the way back in 2015, it took some time for the 29-year-old to fully arrive in the league. But the right-winger has been fun to watch this season and improved his market value from $660,000 to $1.65 million. A significant jump that he now needs to confirm in the upcoming playoffs.

Market Value Dairon Asprilla D. Asprilla Right Winger €1.50m

Minnesota United: Franco Fragapane

It would have been easy to pick Emanuel Reynosohere but the truth is Franco Fragapanehas stolen the show from his Argentine compatriot this season. The 28-year-old winger has scored five goals and nine assists for the Loons this season and will be a key player as Minnesota United face the Portland Timbers in the first round of the playoffs.

Market Value Franco Fragapane F. Fragapane Left Winger €2.50m

Seattle Sounders: Raúl Ruidíaz

Raúl Ruidíazremains one of the biggest stars in the league. This year the Peruvian forward scored 17 goals in 26 regular season games. Dynamic and full of trickery, Ruidíaz is always dangerous anywhere inside and around the box. Extremely explosive, if Ruidíaz plays well, the Sounders will remain one of the favorites to win the MLS Cup at the end of the season.

Market Value Raúl Ruidíaz R. Ruidíaz Centre-Forward €8.00m

Real Salt Lake City: Damir Kreilach

Without Damir Kreilach, Real Salt Lake City would have missed the playoffs. Not only did the 32-year-old Croatian score the winner in a must win game against Sporting KC on the final matchday of the season, but Kreilach also managed an incredible 16 goals and eight assists in 33 regular season games. The former Union Berlin forward will be the most important player as RSL face the Seattle Sounders in the first round.

Market Value Damir Kreilach D. Kreilach Central Midfield €2.00m

Colorado Rapids: Mark-Anthony Kaye

Canadian Mark-Anthony Kayejoined the Colorado Rapids from Los Angeles FC mid-season in a trade worth $1 million in General Allocation Money. The impact has been significant, Colorado would storm to the first in the Western Conference and LAFC missed the playoffs altogether. Kaye does not shine by scoring goals or assists but rather through providing stability in midfield, a trade that will be important if the Rapids want to have a long playoff run.

Market Value Mark-Anthony Kaye M. Kaye Central Midfield €5.00m

Gauld, Ruidíaz, Sallói & Co.: 7 MLS players to watch in the Western Conference Dairon Asprilla | Portland Timbers | Market value: $1.65m &copyimago images

1/7

Damir Kreilach | Real Salt Lake City | Market value: $2.2m &copyimago images

2/7

Franco Fragapane | Minnesota United | Market value: $2.75m &copyimago images

3/7

Mark-Anthony Kaye | Colorado Rapids | Market value: $5.5m &copyimago images

4/7

Ryan Gauld | Vancouver Whitecaps | Market value: $7.15m &copyimago images

5/7

Dániel Sallói | Sporting Kansas City | Market value: $8.25m &copyimago images

6/7

Raúl Ruidíaz | Seattle Sounders | Market value: $8.8m &copyimago images

7/7

2021 MLS Cup Playoffs: 14 clubs – 14 players to watch