Major League Soccer today announced the finalists for the 2023 MLS Year-End Awards, honoring the league’s top performers during the MLS regular season. Three FC Cincinnati players and FCC Head Coach Pat Noonan have been named among the finalists representing 13 MLS clubs, with the winners set to be announced throughout the Audi 2023 MLS Cup Playoffs.
FC Cincinnati, Atlanta United and St. Louis CITY SC are the most represented clubs among the 2023 MLS Year-End Awards contenders with finalists in four award categories each.
Joining Noonan seeking the first individual MLS Year-End honor in the club’s MLS history are Luciano Acosta (Landon Donovan MLS Most Valuable Player), Roman Celentano (Allstate MLS Goalkeeper of the Year) and Matt Miazga (MLS Defender of the Year).
The 2023 MLS Year-End Awards finalists earned the most votes in each category determined following a vote by journalists, club technical staffs, and MLS players, with each group accounting for 33.3% of the total vote. Club technical staffs and players were not able to vote for their own team’s nominees.
2023 Major League Soccer Year-End Awards Finalists (Nominees listed in alphabetical order)
Landon Donovan MLS Most Valuable Player
Luciano ‘Lucho’ Acosta (CIN)
Thiago Almada (ATL)
Dénis Bouanga (LAFC)
Sigi Schmid MLS Coach of the Year
Bradley Carnell (STL)
Wilfried Nancy (CLB)
Pat Noonan (CIN)
Allstate MLS Goalkeeper of the Year
Roman Bürki (STL)
Roman Celentano (CIN)
Pedro Gallese (ORL)
MLS Defender of the Year
Yeimar Gómez Andrade (SEA)
Matt Miazga (CIN)
Tim Parker (STL)
A full list of the 2023 MLS Year-End Awards finalists can be found here.
Luciano Acosta’s 31 goal contributions – 17 goals and 14 assists – led Major League Soccer in 2023. The 29-year-old additionally led MLS with 10 games with multiple goal contributions (2+ goals or assists) and with seven games of at least one goal and one assist.
Cincinnati’s captain, a two-time MLS All-Star and two-time MLS Best XI selection, seeks the first MVP honor of his career. In September, FC Cincinnati and Acosta agreed on a contract extension through 2026, with an option for 2027.
FC Cincinnati Head Coach Pat Noonan, in his second season with the Orange and Blue, has led an on-field turnaround for FCC. This season, Noonan’s club soared to new heights, capturing the club’s first trophy since joining MLS – the 2023 Supporters’ Shield – for the league’s most regular-season points and best record in 2023.
Noonan’s regular-season win percentage in his first two years as a head coach in MLS – 63.2% (32-14-22) – is the second-best in league history only behind Tata Martino’s 64.7% mark in 2017-18 with Atlanta United. Noonan’s 32 wins in his first two seasons as a head coach in the league are tied for the third-most in the MLS post-shootout era behind Martino (36) and Steve Cherundolo (35).
FC Cincinnati extended Noonan’s contract earlier this month.
Roman Celentano, 22, was drafted by FC Cincinnati with the second overall pick as a Generation adidas player in the 2022 MLS SuperDraft out of Indiana University. He was just the third goalkeeper ever drafted with a top-two pick, and the highest since three-time MLS Goalkeeper of the Year and 10-year MLS veteran Andre Blake went No. 1 overall to the Philadelphia Union in 2014.
Celentano now seeks his own Goalkeeper of the Year nod. The second-year goalkeeper finished tied for the second-most clean sheets in MLS this season with 12. This year, Celentano secured FC Cincinnati’s club-record marks in games played (33), career clean sheets (17), and saves, both in a season (86) and in a career (171). FC Cincinnati extended Celentano’s contract through 2027 in September.
Matt Miazga was a stalwart on the FC Cincinnati backline in 2023. He made 27 starts for FC Cincinnati this season and started in 10 games which FC Cincinnati held their opponent scoreless, tied for the fourth-most among outfield players in the league, the second-highest percentage of clean sheets to games played.
Miazga led FC Cincinnati in accurate passes with 1,125, and he was among the league leaders in clearances and aerial duels won. With Miazga on the field, the club allowed just 28 goals (1.03 goals per game), compared to 11 goals allowed in seven games without Miazga (1.57). This summer, Miazga was named an MLS All-Star for the first time in his distinguished career.
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