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MLS Landon Donovan Most Valuable Player Award: Complete list of MVP winners

Global superstars David Beckham, Thierry Henry and Zlatan Ibrahimovic couldn’t do it, but FC Cincinnati’s Luciano Acosta has just been named MLS MVP.

Update:
Premio al Jugador Más Valioso de la MLS (Landon Donovan MVP Award): Lista de ganadores
Aaron DosterUSA TODAY Sports via Reuters Con

It’s been a season of firsts for FC Cincinnati. Founded in 2015 and a member of MLS since 2019, The Orange Blue have won their first Supporters’ Shield and reached their first Eastern Conference final, although the while winning their maiden Sigi Schmid Coach of the Year and Landon Donovan MVP Awards.

Acosta named MLS MVP ahead of Bouanga and Almada

Just days after Pat Noonan won the former thanks to the team’s superb record of 20 wins, nine draws and five defeats for 34 fixtures, playmaker Luciano Acosta has scooped the best player gong after 31 goal contributions (17 scored, 14 assisted) during the regular season.

The Argentine was a landslide winner ahead of LAFC attacker Denis Bouanga and Thiago Almada of Atlanta United, with another compatriot, Lionel Messi, not in the running despite picking up an eighth Ballon d’Or at the end of October.

How many times did Landon Donovan win “his” award?

The MVP Award was named after sponsors (Honda and then Volkswagen) between the league’s foundation in 1996 and 2014, at which point it was renamed in honour of Landon Donovan, who only won it once with LA Galaxy (2009) but has won more MLS Cups (six) than any other player.

Which players have been named MLS MVP?

Only one man, former Kansas City Wizards and current Seattle Sounders assistant coach Preki, has received the award on more than one occasion, winning in 1997 and 2003. Colombian icon Carlos Valderrama (Tampa Bay Mutiny) won the inaugural edition, with Robbie Keane (LA Galaxy), Sebastian Giovinco (Toronto FC), David Villa (New York City FC) and Carlos Vela (LAFC) among the “big-name” winners.

Global superstars David Beckham, Thierry Henry, Steven Gerrard, Kaká and Zlatan Ibrahimovic all had spells playing in the United States without being named Major League Soccer MVP.

Full list of MLS Landon Donovan MVP Award winners

  • 2023: Luciano Acosta – FC Cincinnati
  • 2022: Hany Mukhtar – Nashville SC
  • 2021: Carles Gil – New England Revolution
  • 2020: Alejandro Pozuelo – Toronto FC
  • 2019: Carlos Vela – Los Angeles Football Club
  • 2018: Josef Martínez – Atlanta United FC
  • 2017: Diego Valeri – Portland Timbers
  • 2016: David Villa – New York City FC
  • 2015: Sebastian Giovinco – Toronto FC
  • 2014: Robbie Keane – LA Galaxy
  • 2013: Mike Magee – Chicago Fire
  • 2012: Chris Wondolowski – San Jose Earthquakes
  • 2011: Dwayne De Rosario – D.C. United
  • 2010: David Ferreira – FC Dallas
  • 2009: Landon Donovan – LA Galaxy
  • 2008: Guillermo Barros Schelotto – Columbus Crew
  • 2007: Luciano Emilio – D.C. United
  • 2006: Christian Gómez – D.C. United
  • 2005: Taylor Twellman – New England Revolution
  • 2004: Amado Guevara – MetroStars
  • 2003: Preki – Kansas City Wizards
  • 2002: Carlos Ruiz – LA Galaxy
  • 2001: Alex Pineda Chacon – Miami Fusion
  • 2000: Tony Meola – Kansas City Wizards
  • 1999: Jason Kreis – Dallas Burn
  • 1998: Marco Etcheverry – D.C. United
  • 1997: Preki – Kansas City Wizards
  • 1996: Carlos Valderrama – Tampa Bay Mutiny
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