Luciano Acosta FC Cincinnati
Luciano Acosta wins the 2023 Landon Donovan MLS MVP Award Via

ALABAMA - Earlier this week, MLS announced that FC Cincinnati's Luciano Acosta had won this year's Landon Donovan MLS MVP Award. The midfielder was able to edge fellow Argentine Thiago Almada from Atlanta United and LAFC's Denis Bouanga for the coveted award.

Acosta was the focal point of FC Cincinnati's attack and had a hand in 31 goals this MLS season (17 goals, 14 assists), leading the league in such rubric. His 31 goal contributions helped FC Cincy have the best season in the club's short history. They clinched this year's Supporters' Shield and finish at the top of the Eastern Conference for the 1st time.

Since Acosta's MLS debut in 2016, no player has had more goal contributions than the Argentine midfielder (58 goals, 78 assists).

He will have a chance to expand on his already historic season when FC Cincy host Columbus Crew this Saturday for a spot in this year's MLS Cup. In the history of the league, only 8 of the players that were named that season's MVP helped their teams reach the MLS Cup final.

Acosta became just the 11th player of Latino descent to win the league's highest individual honor and only the 4th player from Argentina to do so. His 2023 triumph snapped a 3-year streak of Europeans winning the Landon Donovan MLS MVP Award.

Among those 11 Latino MLS MVP, only four of them were able to reach the MLS Cup final and only 3 finished the season with an MLS Cup triumph to go along with their MVP Award.

The last Latino to win both in a single season was Josef Martínez during his record-setting 2018 season. The Venezuelan international finished that year with a total of 31 goals in MLS, then a league record until Mexican striker Carlos Vela broke it with 34 goals the following year.

Before Martínez, Guillermo Barros Schelotto accomplished such feat when the Columbus Crew won the title in 2008.

One of the most "clutch" performances by a reigning MLS MVP came thanks to a Latino. During the LA Galaxy's 2002 MLS Cup run, Carlos "Pescadito" Ruíz scored a golden goal in the 113th minute to give his team a 1-0 victory over the New England Revolution, Galaxy's first-ever MLS Cup win.

Carlos Ruíz scores golden goal in 2002 MLS Cup final - Via LA Galaxy on Youtube

Latinos who got the Landon Donovan MVP Award

2023 Luciano Acosta (ARG) FC Cincinnati
2019 Carlos Vela (MEX) LAFC
2018 Josef Martínez (VEN) Atlanta United
2017 Diego Valeri (ARG) Portland Timbers
2010 David Ferreira (COL) FC Dallas
2008 Guillermo Barros Schelotto (ARG) Columbus Crew
2006 Christian Gómez (ARG) D.C. United
2004 Amado Guevara (HON) MetroStars
2002 Carlos Ruíz (GUA) LA Galaxy
2001 Alex Pineda (HON) Miami Fusion
1996 Carlos Valderrama (COL) Tampa Bay

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