Nashville SC’s Mukhtar named 2022 Landon Donavan MLS MVP

Nashville SC's Hany Mukhtar celebrates his third goal as Colorado Rapids goalkeeper William...
Nashville SC's Hany Mukhtar celebrates his third goal as Colorado Rapids goalkeeper William Yarbrough, left, watches during the second half of an MLS soccer match Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2022, in Nashville, Tenn.(AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
Published: Nov. 1, 2022 at 12:55 PM CDT
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - Nashville SC midfielder Hany Mukhtar has been named the 2022 Landon Donovan MLS Most Valuable Player, the league announced Tuesday.

Mukhtar led Major League Soccer with 34 goal contributions (23 goals, 11 assists) in 2022, which was tied for the fifth most in a single season in MLS history. He was presented the MLS Golden Boot for leading the league in goals scored. He scored or assisted on 65.4% of Nashville SC’s goal in 2022, which was the most by a single player in MLS this season.

Nashville SC finished fifth in the Western Conference and earned a berth in the Audi 2022 MLS Cup Playoffs.

Mukhtar had 21 goals and seven assists in his final 22 games of the season, including a league-high 11 goals since the start of August. He became just the fourth player in MLS history to total at least 12 contributions (eight goals, four assists) in a single calendar month. With Nashville fighting for a playoff spot down the stretch of the season, Mukhtar recorded 10 combined goals and assists as part of Nashville’s club-record four-game winning streak from Aug. 21 to Sept. 3.

Mukhtar becomes the first German-born player and the first in Nashville SC history to be named Landon Donovan MLS MVP. He is also the sixth European-born player to win the award since 2000 and the third consecutive after Carles Gil in 2021 and Alejandro Pozuelo in 2020. Mukhtar becomes the fourth player in the last decade to win the Most Valuable Player award and the MLS Golden Boot in the same season.

Mukhtar was the first player to lead the league in goal contributions in consecutive seasons since Sebastian Giovinco from 2015-16. His 62 combined goals and assists from 2021-22 are the fifth most over a two-year span in MLS history. Since the start of 2021, Mukhtar’s 62 combined goals and assists are 16 more than the next closest player, FC Cincinnati’s Luciano Acosta with 46.

Mukhtar finished ahead of Austin FC forward Sebastian Driussi and Philadelphia Union goalkeeper Andre Blake to take home the award. LA Galaxy forward Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez and LAFC forward Cristian “Chicho” Arango were fourth and fifth, respectively, in the final voting results.