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2023 MLS Year-End Awards: How we voted

Luciano Acosta gets our vote for MVP, while Keaton Parks gets a vote for Comeback Player of the Year.

It’s a privilege to vote for the MLS Awards and one we do not take lightly. This is Hudson River Blue’s first time voting, but all of us have spent years watching controversies and debates flare up during year-end awards season. We actively try to avoid making questionable voting decisions that involve us in any of that.

This ballot was aided greatly by the comprehensive matchday whiparound and wrap-up coverage MLS produces over on AppleTV, plus player statistics available on Football Reference, Fotmob and American Soccer Analysis, particularly the goals added (g+) model that values a player’s total on-ball contribution in attack and defense. 

MLS limits voters to a designated field of nominees, which you can see here. We attempted to describe the decision-making process for each vote below. Feel free to light us up in the comments section or on Twitter, currently going by X, for any or all of the following choices. 

MVP: Luciano Acosta, FC Cincinnati 

Being the best individual player on the league’s best team is one reason Luciano Acosta deserves the MVP, but it’s not the only reason. 

FC Cincinnati successfully built their Supporters Shield-winning side around the Argentine playmaker, who has enjoyed his best goal-scoring season ever while continuing to operate as one of the best creative No 10s in MLS. 

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