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, FCCincinnati.com will reveal the winners of this year’s team awards. Brenner and Brandon Vazquez share this year’s Golden Boot, presented by Allegiant.
Brenner and Brandon Vazquez were simply unstoppable in front of goal for the Orange and Blue this past season. The pair finished with 18 goals each and both players finished inside the top 10 for all MLS goal scorers. No other attacking duo in MLS scored more than FCC’s tandem (Philadelphia's Daniel Gazdag and Julián Carranza also combined for 36 goals).
Vazquez had a breakout year in his third season with the Orange and Blue and enjoyed a blistering run of form to start the summer schedule that saw Vazquez score six goals in six games to keep FC Cincinnati in the playoff hunt heading into the last few weeks of the regular season.
The Chula Vista, Calif. native was named to the 2022 MLS Best XI on Wednesday for the first time in his career, joining Luciano Acosta as the first FC Cincinnati players to ever earn the elite honor.
“A lot of hard work went into this season,” said Vazquez. “There has been literal blood, sweat and tears to get to this point and I’m very proud of how this season went for the team. This is the standard we need to keep.”
Vazquez’s knack for finding the back of the net garnered international interest from clubs as well as much buzz about being called to a national team roster. He is eligible for both the United States and Mexican national teams. However, Vazquez remains focused on playing his game and helping FC Cincinnati get better next season.
“What I have now is another year here in Cincinnati,” said Vazquez. “I’m not going to think about what everybody else is going to be expecting from me. I’m going to come into next season with the same mentality that I did this season and hopefully have the same type of year.”
Brenner, in his second season with the club, more than doubled his 2021 season goal total and scored a whopping nine goals in Cincinnati’s final six matches to help secure a first-ever playoff berth for the Orange and Blue.
“I think it all started to click after the Philadelphia game,” said Brenner on his end-of-season form. “I felt as if I was playing at my best. I know what I’ve accomplished this season and I'm very eager to do even more next year.”
Brenner earned Player of the Month honors for September/October after registering his third hat trick of the year against D.C. United on Decision Day. Brenner saw the win against D.C. United as confirmation of what was a successful season and knows there is still more to come.
“We wanted to qualify for the playoffs this year. We did that. I think this team is going to be a top side next year, I think we are going to be even better.”