Hany Mukhtar has improved in 2022

At the start of the season, Hany Mukhtar’s production was a major discussion point among Nashville SC fans.

It’s easy to say that now, after Mukhtar went on a tear in May, scoring six and assisting two in Nashville SC’s last six matches. But even before he started finding the back of the net, his play wasn’t all that different from 2021, when he earned a spot in MLS’s Best XI and finished second in the Landon Donovan MLS MVP voting.

Before May, Mukhtar had some fans worried with a meager two goals and two assists in 868 minutes. Those “meager” performances had him fourth in MLS with 6.59 expected goals and assists, leading the league in underperforming his expected goals. While the end product wasn’t there (or maybe more fittingly, wasn’t up to his 2021 numbers), the underlying numbers were encouraging.

Things finally clicked in mid-May.

DateGameShotsxGGoalsxAAssists
May 1Philadelphia10.1200.040
May 8Salt Lake70.5800.000
May 11Atlanta31.0710.181
May 14Houston40.4300.280
May 18Montreal30.8110.020
May 21Atlanta50.8910.521
May 25Louisville50.2210.000
May 28Colorado40.8520.000
TOTALS:324.9761.042

In May, Mukhtar’s production finally clicked with what the underlying numbers had been trending towards all along, and he’s once again been one of the best attackers in all of MLS.

Mukhtar leads MLS in expected goals and assists, per American Soccer Analysis.

He’s third overall in ASA‘s G+ metric, designed to measure the overall contribution of a player in every phase of the game.

His eleven combined goals and assists are third in MLS, only behind Jesús Ferreira and Sebastián Driussi. He’s tied on goal contributions with players like Luciano Acosta and Djordje Mihailović, both of whom have regularly been named in the MVP discussion.

Perhaps most surprising of all is that his 2022 underlying numbers are actually better than those of his MVP-caliber season last year.

While he may not match his 16 goals and 12 assists from last year, he’s been more consistently influential for Nashville in 2022. He’s the most important player for the Coyotes and arguably the best attacker in MLS.

Author: Ben Wrightis the Director of Soccer Content and a Senior MLS Contributor for Broadway Sports covering Nashville SC and the US National Team. Previously Ben was the editor and a founder of Speedway Soccer, where he has covered Nashville SC and their time in USL before journeying to Major League Soccer since 2018. Raised in Louisville, KY Ben grew up playing before a knee injury ended his competitive career. When he is not talking soccer he is probably producing music, drinking coffee or hanging out with his wife and kids.

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