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FC Cincinnati's Luciano Acosta named MLS MVP

man holds award
Tana Weingartner
Lucho Acosta is the 2023 MLS Landon Donovan Most Valuable Player.

FC Cincinnati's Luciano 'Lucho' Acosta is the 2023 Major League Soccer Landon Donovan Most Valuable Player. The award was announced Monday, two days after the Orange and Blue secured a place in the Eastern Conference finals.

The league-wide end-of-year awards are decided by a combination of player, media and club votes. Acosta was the clear winner across all three categories, and tallied an overall total vote average of 60%. The other two finalists were Dénis Bouanga (LAFC - 14.9%) and Thiago Almada (ATL - 6%).

"Thank you, fans," Acosta said during a ceremony at TQL Stadium. "You know I play for this city. I'm very happy this is my home; this is my house. And when I go out to the field, I give you 100% for this club. This award is for you guys, thank you."

RELATED: FC Cincinnati's Pat Noonan wins MLS Coach of the Year

Acosta thanked his family, the coaching staff, team ownership, his coach and teammates.

Family poses with award
Tana Weingartner
Acosta and his family pose with the MLS MVP trophy during a ceremony on Nov. 27, 2023 at TQL Stadium.

"This is an individual award but I want to share with my teammates. I'm very proud of this team," he said.

Earlier this month, FC Cincinnati's Matt Miazga earned MLS Defender of the Year honors, and head coach Pat Noonan was named 2023 Sigi Schmid Major League Soccer Coach of the Year. Goalkeeper Roman Celantano was nominated but did not win Goalkeeper of the Year, though he did earn Save of the Year honors.

Acosta, a midfielder from Argentina, led MLS with 31 goal contributions, meaning 17 goals and 14 assists. He's also now the sixth player in league history to record at least 10 goals and 10 assists for three or more seasons.

RELATED: FC Cincinnati's Matt Miazga named MLS Defender of the Year

"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 Argentinian made his Cincinnati debut in 2021," writes MLS in a release. "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."

FC Cincinnati will host the Columbus Crew on Saturday Dec. 2, at 6 p.m. The winner of the "Hell is Real" rematch will punch their ticket to the MLS cup. Should Cincinnati win, the championship match would be played in Cincinnati at TQL Stadium.

Senior Editor and reporter at WVXU with more than 20 years experience in public radio; formerly news and public affairs producer with WMUB. Would really like to meet your dog.