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CINCINNATI – Major League Soccer announced today that FC Cincinnati’s Luciano Acosta and Brandon Vazquez have been named to the 2022 MLS Best XI presented by Continental Tire, a collection of elite performers from the 2022 MLS regular season and one of the most prestigious annual honors a player can receive. The Best XI recognizes the league’s top players at each position as determined by media, MLS players, and MLS club technical staffs. 

Acosta and Vazquez are the first two players in FC Cincinnati history to be named to the MLS Best XI. Their recognition comes in FCC’s milestone 2022 season in which Acosta and Vazquez also became the first pair of MLS All-Stars to represent the club at the 2022 MLS All-Star Game in August.

Luciano Acosta

FC Cincinnati’s dynamic midfielder has been named to the MLS Best XI for the second time in his career (2018 Best XI with D.C. United – 10 goals/17 assists). He is just the sixth midfielder in MLS history to make a Best XI team with two different clubs. This year, Acosta surpassed his 2018 season scoring tally with a career-high 29 regular season goal contributions, tied for third-most in MLS this year. 

Acosta led the league with 19 assists this season, four more than any other player in MLS. He also led MLS in assists from open play (12), intentional assists (12) and he ranked second in chances created (93).

A team-high five of Acosta’s assists this year were game-winning assists, including assisting Brenner’s goal on June 24 against Orlando City SC when, despite coming on a second half substitute, in 35 minutes of game action he changed the complexion of the contest by matching a career-high in shots (5) and shots on target (3).

Two of his 10 goals served as game-winners, including his 85th minute solo strike at Chicago Fire FC on May 14. The Argentine cemented his spot as FC Cincinnati’s all-time leader in appearances as captain of the Orange and Blue this season, finishing the year with 57 career regular season starts as FCC’s captain.

GOAL | Luciano Acosta, FC Cincinnati - 85th minute

His impressive 2022 campaign also saw him set extend all-time club records he already held in goal contributions (46) and assists (29). On August 6 against Philadelphia Union, Acosta became the first player in club history to record three assists in a game, all in the second half, in the Orange and Blue’s 3-1 win over the Union.

Acosta was named to the MLS Team of the Week six times, and he became the first FC Cincinnati player in club history to be voted MLS Player of the Month in June, when in just 137 minutes of game action he tied for the league lead with four goal contributions.

Acosta’s importance to the club led the squad down the stretch, as he had a hand in both of FCC’s goals in the opening 10 minutes on Decision Day at D.C. United to help the Orange and Blue clinch a first berth in the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs in a 5-2 win. Then, his vital penalty kick goal equalized for the Orange and Blue in their Round One matchup at the New York Red Bulls in the 74th minute, a contest FC Cincinnati would go on to win.

Acosta provided at least one goal or assist in 11 of FC Cincinnati’s 12 regular season wins this year.

Brandon Vazquez

FC Cincinnati’s breakout striker earns MLS Best XI honors for the first time in his young career. His 18 regular season goals are double the nine career league goals he had scored across the first 82 appearances in the first five seasons of his MLS career.

Vazquez’s 18 goals ranked tied-fourth in MLS this season. None of his 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.

In a season in which the forward shattered nearly every offensive single-season club record, including goals across all competitions (20), shots (82) and shots on goal (40), Vazquez’s impressive form began early, by becoming the first player in club history to score multiple goals in consecutive games in March wins at Orlando City SC and against Inter Miami CF.

That run would be the first of four goal streaks for Vazquez this season. One of his four streaks was from July 23 to August 13, when he became the first player in club history to score in four consecutive games. Only six players in MLS had a longer goal streak this season.

The 24-year-old netted three game-winning goals in the regular season, most notably on May 7 at Minnesota United FC when his 93rd minute goal stunned the hosts and provided the Orange and Blue with a 1-0 road victory. That goal marked the latest regular season goal in FCC’s MLS history.

GOAL | Brandon Vazquez, FC Cincinnati - 93rd minute

Vazquez’s form carried over to the postseason, when in his first appearance in the MLS Cup Playoffs his 86th minute game-winning goal pushed the Orange and Blue to a come-from-behind 2-1 win at the New York Red Bulls in Round One.

Vazquez was named to the MLS Team of the Week four times, and became the first player in club history to earn consecutive weekly awards when he earned TOTW honors in Weeks 3 and 4.

Vazquez (26) and fellow Best XI selection Luciano Acosta (29) became the first pair of teammates with at least 25 goal contributions in a single season since Atlanta United’s Josef Martínez (37) and Miguel Almirón (26) in 2018.

2022 MLS Best XI Presented by Continental Tire

Goalkeeper: Andre Blake (Philadelphia Union)

Defenders: Jakob Glesnes (Philadelphia Union), Kai Wagner (Philadelphia Union), Walker Zimmerman (Nashville SC)

Midfielders: Luciano Acosta (FC Cincinnati), Sebastián Driussi (Austin FC), Dániel Gazdag (Philadelphia Union), Hany Mukhtar (Nashville SC)

Forwards: Jesús Ferreira (FC Dallas), Brandon Vazquez (FC Cincinnati), Carlos Vela (LAFC)

2023 Season Tickets are on sale now at fccincinnati.com/tickets. Fans looking for more information can contact a dedicated FC Cincinnati representative at (513) 977-5435 or e-mail tickets@fccincinnati.com.

For up-to-the-minute information about FC Cincinnati, visit the team’s official website at fccincinnati.com, or follow the team on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook at @FCCincinnati. Additionally, fans are encouraged to download the team’s official mobile app on the Apple App Store or Google Play for instant access to mobile tickets, team content and match notifications.