Luciano Acosta is Major League Soccer’s all-star player of the year…
The 29-year-old Argentine professional footballer and FC Cincinnati midfielder has been named the 2023 MLS MVP, the league has revealed.
Atlanta United FC‘s Thiago Almada finished third in the voting with 6.46%.
“I’m very proud of this team,” Acosta said in a video produced by the team that was shot when he was told he had won the award. “I think everybody deserves something this year. We deserve more. We have to give it our all. Let’s go.”
He later joked, “I don’t want to go to practice. I won the MVP.”
Acosta, a Buenos Aires, Argentina, native led the league with 31 goal contributions during the regular season, with 17 goals and 14 assists, and helped Cincinnati to their first Supporters Shield.
Cincinnati remains in contention to claim the MLS Cup, as it faces in-state rivals the Columbus Crew in the Eastern Conference final this Saturday.
Acosta is just the sixth player in league history to record three or more seasons with at least 10 goals and 10 assists.
Acosta is the ninth South American-born player to earn the honor and first since Josef Martínez won the award with Atlanta United in 2018.
Other Argentines to win the award are Diego Valeri (Portland Timbers, 2015), Guillermo Barros Schelotto (Columbus Crew, 2008), and Christian Gómez (D.C. United, 2006).
Acosta has been a prolific attacking player ever since he entered the league in 2016 with D.C. United, scoring 58 goals and adding 78 assists, the most goal contributions by any player in that span.
Only Hany Mukhtar of Nashville SC, last year’s MVP, has made more contributions since Acosta made his Cincinnati debut in 2021.
His 43 regular-season assists since 2021 are the second-most of any MLS player during that time, and only Seattle Sounders FC midfielder Nicolás Lodeiro (80) has more regular-season assists than the Cincinnati playmaker since 2016.
Acosta began his professional career with famed Argentine side Boca Juniors, making his professional debut in 2014.
He spent the 2016 campaign on loan with D.C. United before making the move permanent a year later, and went on to score 25 goals in 137 league and cup appearances.
He spent 15 months with Liga MX side Atlas before joining FC Cincinnati.