When it comes to charting the course of a club's season, there are really just three types of players: the ones who disappoint against performance projections, those who solidly meet the head coach's ask and the guys who roll expectations up into a ball and fire it into the top corner.
As we make the MLS midseason turn, let's honor the players who've gone the farthest above and beyond so far.
No. 10: Wilfried Zahibo
There was little noise made when New England snagged the 24-year-old defensive midfielder from La Liga 2 side Gimnastic. Zahibo has ably stepped in to guard a sometimes shaky backline for one of the league's surprise teams. The tackle-happy deterrent has given the Revs more freedom to harass foes with a high press, as well as a greater ability to go toe-to-toe with the East's top four teams.
No. 9: Danny Hoesen
The San Jose Earthquakes forward has always been known as a guy to get into great positions, only to disappoint too often on the finish. In his first season with the Quakes, Hoesen put a meager 34 percent of his shot attempts on target, and buried just 7 percent of them to end up with five league goals.
This year, he's on frame 43 percent of the time and scoring on 18 percent of his efforts. He's also firing exactly 50 percent more shots per game over last season, which is why he's already scored (a top-flight career high) 10 goals in about 400 fewer minutes played. Hoesen has both of San Jose's winners and a pair of game-tying goals, so imagine where they'd be without him.