Hany Mukhtar, Walker Zimmerman Named To 2022 MLS Best XI

Nashville SC Designated Players Hany Mukhtar and Walker Zimmerman have been named to the MLS’ 2022 Best XI, presented by Continental Tire.

This comes just one day after Mukhtar was named the 2022 Landon Donovan MLS Most Valuable Player.

The MLS Best XI is a collection of elite performers from the 2022 MLS regular season and one of the most prestigious annual honors a player can receive. The Best XI recognizes the league’s top players at each position as determined by media, MLS players, and MLS club technical staffs.

Mukhtar has had a season for the history books, winning the 2022 MLS Golden Boot presented by Audi after scoring 23 goals this season. He also became the first German born player to earn both the Golden Boot and MVP.

With 34 goal contributions in 2022 (23 goals, 11 assists), Mukhtar was the first player to lead the league in consecutive seasons since Sebastian Giovinco (2015-16). The 27-year-old scored or assisted in a sensational 65.4% of Nashville’s goals in 2022, which was the most by a single player in MLS this season.

The MVP’s 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).

The German had a historic month of August, becoming just the fourth player in MLS history to total at least 12 goal contributions (8 goals, 4 assists) in a single calendar month and was named the MLS Player of the Month as he added Team of the Week awards in Weeks 28 and 29 that month alone. Mukhtar has been named MLS Player of the Week six times since joining MLS in 2020, the most in MLS in that span.

This is Mukhtar’s second consecutive time being named to the MLS Best XI.

Zimmerman joins the MLS Best XI squad yet again after anchoring a Nashville SC backline that conceded the fourth-fewest goals in MLS this season (41) and the fewest road goals allowed in the league (20).

The two-time MLS Defender of the Year becomes the fifth player in MLS history to be named to the Best XI in four consecutive seasons, joining Chris Armas (1998-2001), Landon Donovan (2008-12), Marco Etcheverry (1996-99), and Robbie Keane (2012-15).

Zimmerman’s four MLS Best XI selections are the most among active MLS players, while being tied for fifth all-time.

Steven Boero