MLS Soccer Staff
FC Cincinnati midfielder Luciano Acosta was named the Landon Donovan 2023 MLS MVP on Monday. Acosta, 29, received 60.37% of the vote among the players, media, and technical staff to easily beat out his runner-up in forward Denis Bouanga of the LAFC who received 14.97%.
Acosta was deserving of the award, as he helped lead his team to a (20W-5L-9D) to garner 69 points and earn their first MLS-era trophy. The Argentine playmaker scored 17 goals to go along with 14 assists for 31 goals accounted for this season that helped power Cincy to the Supporters Shield crown.
Cincinnati is currently in pursuit of claiming the MLS Cup as they face their in-state rivals the Columbus Crew in the Eastern Conference Finals this coming Saturday.
Acosta is just the sixth player in league history to record three or more seasons with at least 10 goals and 10 assists. He also is the ninth South American-born player to win the award and the first since Josef Martinez did it with Atlanta United in 2018.
This was a Cincy team that was dead last in the Eastern Conference standings in 2021 with a (4-8-22) to becoming the best team in the conference just two seasons later after Acosta’s arrival in 2021.
The other Argentines to win the award are Diego Valeri (Portland Timbers, 2015), Guillermo Barros Schelotto (Columbus Crew, 2008), and Christian Gomez (D.C. United, 2006).
Acosta has been a productive player since entering the league in 2016 with D.C. United where he has scored 58 goals along with 78 assists to add, the most goal contributions of anyone during that time span.
His 43 regular-season assists since 2021 are the second most in that time span with only Seattle Sounders FC midfielder Nicolas Lodeiro (80) contributing more.
Cincinnati will play in the conference finals this Saturday with a chance to take another step closer to the MLS Cup.