Atlanta United Midfielder Thiago Almada Named 2023 MLS Young Player of the Year
ATLANTA - Major League Soccer today announced Atlanta United midfielder Thiago Almada as the 2023 MLS Young Player of the Year. The 22-year-old is the first Atlanta player to win the award in its current iteration and the second Atlanta player to earn the overall honor since Julian Gressel was named MLS Rookie of the Year in 2017.
In just his second MLS season, Almada produced a league-leading 19 assists and, with 11 goals, provided the second-most goal contributions with 30 during the 2023 MLS regular season. His 19 assists set a new club single-season record, which was previously held by Miguel Almirón (2017, 2018) and Julian Gressel (2018) with 14 assists each. Almada is also the youngest player in MLS history to record double-digit goals and assists in a single season at 22 years and 150 days old, surpassing Ronald Cerritos (22 years and 246 days) during 1997 regular season.
Almada also earned a series of individual awards throughout the 2023 regular season, including being named to the 2023 MLS All-Star Team. At 21 years and 338 days old, the Argentina international became the youngest player to earn MLS Player of the Month presented by CELSIUS® Essential Energy honors since Daryl Dike (20 years and 98 days old) in 2020 after scoring four goals and providing four assists between February and March. His three Major League Soccer Player of the Matchday presented by Continental Tire honors in 2023 were also the most of any player this season.
Almada is the first Argentinian to be named MLS Young Player of the Year and the fourth player from South America to earn the honor. Since arriving in Atlanta at the beginning of 2022, Almada has the second-most assists (31) and fourth-most goal contributions (48) of any MLS player over that stretch.
Video assets from Thiago Almada's 2023 MLS regular season and his reaction to winning the award are available here.
The Young Player of the Year award honors the top player in the league aged 22 and under. Players born on, or before, Jan. 1, 2001, were eligible for selection.
The Young Player of the Year award was voted on by MLS club technical staff, media, and current MLS players. Below is a breakdown of the voting results, with Almada besting fellow finalists Duncan McGuire (Orlando City SC) and Aidan Morris (Columbus Crew).
Name Player Vote Vote Club Media Vote Average Vote
Thiago Almada (ATL) 52.17% 53.85% 73.99% 60.00%
Duncan McGuire (ENT) 8.07% 15.38%. 8.67% 10.71%
Aidan Morris (CLB) 5.59% 12.82% 2.31% 6.91%
A full list of previous MLS Young Player of the Year and MLS Rookie of the Year award winners can be found below
MLS Young Player of the Year
season player Club
2023 Thiago Almada Atlanta United
2022 Jesus Ferreira FC Dallas
2021 Ricardo Pepi FC Dallas
2020 Diego Rossi Los Angeles FC
MLS Rookie of the Year
season player Club
2019 Andre Shinyashiki Colorado Rapids
2018 Corey Baird Royal Salt Lake
2017 Julian Gressel Atlanta United
2016 Jordan Morris Seattle Sounders FC
2015 Cyle Larin Orlando City SC
2014 Tesho Akindele FC Dallas
2013 Dillon Powers Colorado Rapids
2012 Austin Berry Chicago Fire FC
2011 CJ Sapong Sporting Kanas City
2010 Andy Najar D.C. United
2009 Omar Gonzalez LA Galaxy
2008 Sean Franklin LA Galaxy
2007 Maurice Edu Toronto F.C.
2006 Jonathan Bornstein Chivas USA
2005 Michael Parkhurst New England Revolution
2004 Clint Dempsey New England Revolution
2003 Damani Ralph Chicago Fire FC
2002 Kyle Martino Columbus Crew
2001 Rodrigo Faria Metrostars
2000 Carlos Bocanegra Chicago Fire FC
1999 Jay Heaps Miami Fusion
1998 Ben Olsen D.C. United
1997 Mike Duhaney Tampa Bay Mutiny
1996 Steve Ralston Tampa Bay Mutiny
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