FC Cincinnati Academy forward Ryder Mills has been named U-19 MLS NEXT Most Valuable Player, presented by adidas, for the 2022-23 MLS NEXT regular season, the league announced today.
Mills, 18, is the first FC Cincinnati Academy player to be named MLS NEXT MVP after leading the Young Gary’s attack this past season. Mills tallied 27 goals in 22 starts for the Orange and Blue, helping his U-19 side win 19 regular season and qualification matches to clinch the seven seed in the MLS NEXT Cup Playoffs.
Mills’ academy season was defined by a road trip to the Lone Star State, where the forward scored seven goals in two matches, including a five-goal effort against the RVG Toro’s Academy in a 6-1 win on March 5.
His academy success has translated to the MLS NEXT Pro level as Mills has proved a key piece of FC Cincinnati 2’s attack through the first half of the 2023 season. Mills has scored four goals, tied for the second highest mark on the team, in 12 appearances for the Orange and Blue while registering his first career multi-goal performance against Orlando City B on July 2.
The award follows Mills’ selection to the 2023 MLS NEXT All-Star Roster with the match scheduled for Wednesday, July 19 at the Naval Academy’s Glenn Warner Soccer Facility in Annapolis, Md. prior to the MLS All-Star Game.
Mills joins 11 other MLS NEXT players across four different age groups to be recognized with a year-end award. For a full list of 2022-2023 MLS NEXT regular season award recipients, visit mlssoccer.com/mlsnext.