Hany Mukhtar Named Landon Donovan MVP Award Winner

After months of hype, campaigning and anticipation, it is now a reality. Nashville SC superstar and Designated Player Hany Mukhtar has been named the 2022 Landon Donovan MLS Most Valuable Player after winning the MLS Golden Boot presented by Audi during his record-breaking season.

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. Mukhtar scored or assisted on an incredible 65.4 percent of Nashville SC’s goals in 2022, which was the most by a single player in MLS this season. The midfielder’s sensational season helped Nashville finish fifth in the Western Conference and earn a berth in the Audi 2022 MLS Cup Playoffs.

Hany Mukhtar being award the league MVP by MLS President Mark Abbott. Photo: Courtesy of Nashville SC

Mukhtar recorded 21 goals and seven assists in his final 22 games of the season, which culminated in a league-high 11 goals since the start of August. The German playmaker had a historic month in 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. 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.

In addition to the MLS MVP award, Mukhtar has earned a plethora of accolades since arriving to MLS in 2020, including one MLS Best XI presented by Continental Tire selection (2021), the 2022 MLS Golden Boot presented by Audi, one MLS Player of the Month award (August 2022), and six MLS Player of the Week presented by Continental Tire honors.

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.

He also becomes the fourth player in the last decade to win the Most Valuable Player award and the MLS Golden Boot presented by Audi in the same season.

The Nashville SC playmaker was the first player to lead the league in goal contributions in consecutive seasons since Sebastian Giovinco from 2015-16. Mukhtar’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, 46).

Pictured (L-R): Nashville SC owner John Ingram and Hany Mukhtar. Photo: Courtesy of Nashville SC

Mukhtar won 48 percent of all ballots in the MVP race, including a whopping 78 percent of the media vote.

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

The Landon Donovan MLS MVP award has been presented since 1996 to the individual determined by a poll of players, club technical staff and the media to be the most valuable to his club.

Steven Boero