FC Cincinnati have announced the club’s 2022 team award winners, as voted on by club technical staff. FC Cincinnati players were recognized with four awards:
- Most Valuable Player
- Golden Boot, presented by Allegiant
- Defensive Player of the Year
- Humanitarian of the Year, presented by P&G
Most Valuable Player: Luciano Acosta - Acosta led MLS in assists (19) and scored double-digit goals (10) for the second time in his MLS career (D.C. United, 2018). Acosta’s 29 combined goal contributions were tied for the third-highest mark in the league and trailed only Nashville SC’s Hany Mukhtar and Philadelphia Union’s Daniel Gazdag.
The 2022 MLS All-Star was named to the elite MLS Best XI this week, after he set career highs in assists this season while spearheading one of the most dangerous attacks in the league. Acosta finished the year with four multi-assist games highlighted by the first three-assist night in club history against Philadelphia Union on Aug. 6.
Acosta was named the MLS Player of the Month in June and was named to the 2022 MLS Team of the Week six times. He featured in the weekly award for three consecutive weeks earlier in the year (9, 10, 11-bench).
Acosta provided at least one goal or assist in 11 of FC Cincinnati’s 12 regular season wins this year. This season, he became the Orange and Blue’s all-time leader in appearances as captain. In addition to leading the league in assists, he also led MLS in assists from open play (12), intentional assists (12) and he ranked second in chances created (93).
Golden Boot delivered by Allegiant: Brenner and Brandon Vazquez - Brenner and Vazquez were simply unstoppable in front of net this season, with each player scoring 18 goals for the Orange and Blue. The duo became the first pair of teammates in MLS history to each score at least 18 goals in a single season. The pair finished the year with 36 goals and 14 assists between them.
Vazquez had a breakout year in his third season with the Orange and Blue and enjoyed a blistering run of form to start the season, which saw Vazquez become the first player in FCC history with braces in back-to-back games in March. The summer saw Vazquez score six goals in six games to keep FC Cincinnati in the playoff hunt heading into the last few weeks of the year.
Vazquez’s form earned him consistent buzz surrounding international call-ups, and he was named an MLS All-Star in August of this year. Just this week, he joined Luciano Acosta as the first FC Cincinnati players to be named to the prestigious MLS Best XI list.
None of Vazquez’s 18 goals came via the penalty spot, tied for the league-lead for most non-PK goals. His 16 goals from open play were the most in MLS, and his six headed goals were tied for the most.
Brenner, in his second season with the club, more than doubled his 2021 season goal total (8) 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.
The Brazilian’s nine goals in September and October tied for the most in any five-game stretch in a single season in MLS history and helped propel the Orange and Blue to a 3-1-1 mark to close the season, while clinching the club’s first Audi 2022 MLS Cup Playoffs berth. He was named MLS’s Player of the Month for September/October.
Brenner became the sixth different player in MLS history to score at least three hat tricks in a single season and the first since Josef Martínez in 2018.
Defensive Player of the Year: Nick Hagglund - Hagglund made 32 appearances in defense for the Orange and Blue this season, starting 31 games and playing 2,719 minutes, all career highs for the Cincinnati native. Hagglund played a part in all six shutout performances this season for the Orange and Blue and led the team in clearances (136), headed clearances (71) and interceptions (43).
Hagglund even chipped in on the offensive end, scoring the game-winning goal against Charlotte FC back on Sept. 3. He was the only player to start all 13 league wins for FC Cincinnati this season.
Humanitarian of the Year presented by Proctor & Gamble: Ray Gaddis – An accomplished MLS veteran and a better humanitarian, Gaddis continues to serve in his local communities.
Gaddis most recently partnered with Bigger Than Sneakers for their fourth annual Cincinnati Sneakerball, benefitting youth-focused charitable organizations, and hosted a Backpack Giveaway providing school supplies to local children of the Cincinnati area.
Gaddis actively works within the youth soccer scene in his hometown of Indianapolis, Indiana, and assisted in the installation of a public mini-pitch at Oscar Charleston Park in conjunction with Black Players for Change of which Gaddis is a founding member and continues to serve on the board.