Acosta leads FC Cincinnati with magical season - 'probably the best of my career'


Following the conclusion of the 2022 MLS Season, FC Cincinnati technical staff voted on and awarded FC Cincinnati players with several end-of-season awards. This week, will reveal the winners of this year’s team awards. FC Cincinnati’s captain, Luciano Acosta, takes home team MVP honors.

Special seasons require special performances and Luciano Acosta certainly had his share of special performances for FC Cincinnati over the course of what turned into a historic season for the club.

Acosta led the league in assists (19) and scored double-digit goals (10) for the second time in his MLS career (D.C. United, 2018). Acosta’s combined goal contributions were tied for the third-highest mark in the league and trailed only Hany Mukhtar and Daniel Gazdag.

Acosta scored his first goal of the season against CF Montréal on April 2 and would go on to score four goals over the next six games, including a match-winner over Chicago Fire FC on May 14, propelling the Orange and Blue up the Eastern Conference table.

“We grew so much as a team,” Acosta said, “From the bottom to the top, everyone grew. The history that we made here with this club, we all knew we could do it but to actually achieve what we did is a big deal for us.”

The MLS MVP candidate set career highs in assists and shots spearheading one of the most dangerous attacks in the league. Acosta finished the year with four multi-assist games highlighted by his three-assist night against Philadelphia Union on Aug. 6.

Acosta stepped up in big moments this season to help FC Cincinnati clinch a first-ever MLS playoff berth. The captain scored and assisted in Cincinnati’s 5-2 Decision Day win over D.C. United and converted a penalty in Round One of the playoffs to bring things level late against New York Red Bulls.

“It was a great year for me, probably the best of my career,” said Acosta. “It was great personally as well, this city, I enjoy it so much and it feels like my home.”

Acosta’s performances earned him a place in the 2022 MLS Best XI, the second such honor of his career. He joins Brandon Vazquez as the first players in FC Cincinnati history to be included in the Best XI.

FC Cincinnati's playmaker was named to the MLS All-Star team for the first time in his career and earned six appearances in the 2022 MLS Team of the Week, featuring in the team for three consecutive weeks earlier in the year (9, 10, 11-bench).

“We know what we are capable of achieving here with this team. We want to achieve the things that escaped us this year. We need to be better at home, we should win all of our games at home in front of the fans.”

In addition to the on-field numbers and accolades, Acosta wraps up his second year as captain for the Orange and Blue. Acosta remains proud to wear the captain's armband and lead FC Cincinnati.

“I think we all learned things this year,” Acosta said. “We will learn things along the way, but as captain, I think that I grew a lot. I’d like to think that I have been a great captain, I don’t know, you’d have to ask my teammates. I’ll continue to say that I am very proud of what we achieved this year and personally I feel very, very happy.”

Acosta finished the season having made 28 starts in 30 total appearances for the Orange and Blue and will look to build on his career year in 2023.