Luciano ‘Lucho’ Acosta named 2023 Landon Donovan MLS Most Valuable Player 

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FC Cincinnati midfielder Luciano ‘Lucho’ Acosta has been named the 2023 Landon Donovan MLS Most Valuable Player, the league announced today. After leading FC Cincinnati to the club’s first MLS trophy – the Supporters’ Shield – the dynamic attacking midfielder becomes the first player in club history to earn the highest individual honor in Major League Soccer.

Acosta led MLS with 31 goal contributions in 2023 (17 goals, 14 assists), becoming just the sixth player in league history to record three or more seasons with at least 10 goals and 10 assists. He also became the 14th player in MLS history to record at least 50 goals and 70 assists in their career and the first player to reach the milestone since fellow Argentine Diego Valeri did so in 2019.

In addition to helping Cincinnati win the Supporters’ Shield, Acosta’s MVP season powered the club to its second consecutive Audi MLS Cup Playoffs berth and helped FCC qualify for the Concacaf Champions Cup for the first time in club history. He has scored a goal and added two assists so far in the Audi 2023 MLS Cup Playoffs as FC Cincinnati are set to face in-state rivals Columbus Crew in the Eastern Conference Final on Saturday night at TQL Stadium (6 p.m. ET, MLS Season Pass on Apple TV).

FCC’s No. 10 led the league with 10 games of two-or-more goal contributions, and with seven regular season games with multiple goal contributions (at least one goal and one assist). He added one more game to that total with a goal and an assist against the New York Red Bulls on Oct. 29 in the Round One Best-of-3 Series.

The Argentine midfielder also earned several individual awards in 2023, as he was named MLS Player of the Matchday twice (Matchdays 14 and 38) and MLS Player of the Month in back-to-back months (July and August). He became the first winner of MLS Player of the Month in consecutive months since Josef Martínez (July-August 2019) and now only trails Martínez, Landon Donovan, and Carlos Ruiz (all with six) for most monthly awards in MLS history.

Eleven times was Acosta named to the MLS Team of the Matchday. Additionally, Acosta’s signature moment of the season, a stunning solo goal against Charlotte FC in September at TQL Stadium, was named MLS Goal of the Year earlier this month.

Acosta is the ninth South American-born player to earn the honor and first since Martínez (Atlanta United, 2018). He joins Valeri (Portland Timbers, 2015), Guillermo Barros Schelotto (Columbus Crew, 2008), and Christian Gómez (D.C. United, 2006) as the fourth Argentine in MLS history to win the award. Only the United States (eight) has had more Landon Donovan MLS MVP winners than Argentina since 1996.

No player has produced more goal contributions than Acosta’s 136 (58 goals, 78 assists) since his MLS debut in 2016, and only Nashville SC’s Hany Mukhtar has produced more since the Argentine made his Cincinnati debut in 2021. His 43 regular-season assists since 2021 are the second-most of any MLS player during that time, and only Seattle Sounders FC midfielder Nicolás Lodeiro (80) has more regular-season assists than the Cincinnati playmaker since 2016.

In addition to his standout statistics and accomplishments, the midfielder has been a leader with the Orange and Blue. Acosta has captained the Orange and Blue a club record 97 times. The Argentine has worn the captain’s armband in more than half of the all-time matches for FC Cincinnati across all competitions since joining MLS in 2019.

In September, FC Cincinnati and Acosta agreed to a contract extension through 2026, with an option for 2027.

This is the fourth consecutive season that the Landon Donovan MLS MVP winner comes from an Eastern Conference club and the 17th time overall that a player from the Eastern Conference has won the award. FC Cincinnati is the 16th active MLS club and 18th MLS club overall to have a player earn the honor.

Acosta finished ahead of Los Angeles Football Club forward Dénis Bouanga and Atlanta United midfielder Thiago Almada to take home the award.

The Landon Donovan MLS MVP award has been presented since 1996 to the individual determined by a poll of players, club technical staff, and select media to be the most valuable to his club. Below is a breakdown of the voting results for 2023:

2023 Landon Donovan MLS Most Valuable Player





Luciano Acosta (CIN)





Dénis Bouanga (LAFC)





Thiago Almada (ATL)





A full list of previous Landon Donovan MLS MVP winners can be found below:

Landon Donovan MLS Most Valuable Player Winners





Luciano Acosta

FC Cincinnati


Hany Mukhtar

Nashville SC


Carles Gil

New England Revolution


Alejandro Pozuelo

Toronto FC


Carlos Vela

Los Angeles Football Club


Josef Martínez

Atlanta United FC


Diego Valeri

Portland Timbers


David Villa

New York City FC


Sebastian Giovinco

Toronto FC


Robbie Keane

LA Galaxy


Mike Magee

Chicago Fire


Chris Wondolowski

San Jose Earthquakes


Dwayne De Rosario

D.C. United


David Ferreira

FC Dallas


Landon Donovan

LA Galaxy


Guillermo Barros Schelotto

Columbus Crew


Luciano Emilio

D.C. United


Christian Gómez

D.C. United


Taylor Twellman

New England Revolution


Amado Guevara




Kansas City Wizards


Carlos Ruiz

LA Galaxy


Alex Pineda Chacon

Miami Fusion


Tony Meola

Kansas City Wizards


Jason Kreis

Dallas Burn


Marco Etcheverry

D.C. United



Kansas City Wizards


Carlos Valderrama

Tampa Bay Mutiny

FC Cincinnati will host in-state rivals Columbus Crew on Saturday, Dec. 2 in the Eastern Conference Final. Kickoff from TQL Stadium with a trip to MLS Cup on the line is set for 6 p.m. ET. The match will be aired exclusively on MLS Season Pass on Apple TV. Local radio information will be announced at a later date.

For more information on FC Cincinnati in the Audi 2023 MLS Cup Playoffs, visit

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