NASHVILLE, TN – Nashville SC midfielder Hany Mukhtar was named Landon Donovan MLS MVP on Tuesday, earning the highest individual honor in Major League Soccer.
With 23 goals and 11 assists in 2022, Mukhtar led the league in goal contributions, winning the league’s Golden Boot award. His 34 combined goals and assists contributed to a staggering 65% of Nashville’s total goals in 2022.
Mukhtar’s ascent in MLS was rapid. The German youth international came to Nashville as the first Designated Player in club history, joining from Swedish side Brøndby for a $2.85 million transfer fee, a paltry sum in international football and a modest outlay in the world of MLS DPs.
Mukhtar’s Nashville career started slowly. In the Coyotes’ expansion season, it took him 10 matches to score his first goal, finishing the year with five goals and four assists.
In 2021, he reached another level. Mukhtar scored 16 goals and 12 assists, leading MLS in goal contributions for a Nashville side that finished the year in third place in the Eastern Conference, tied on points with second-placed Philadelphia Union. Mukhtar finished a distant second to New England’s Carles Gil in the 2021 MVP race.
After his stellar 2022 season, no player has scored more than Mukhtar in the three seasons he’s been in MLS. His 66 goals and primary assists are the most in the league in that stretch in that time.
Notably, Mukhtar’s MVP win is the first time ever a Nashville athlete has won an MVP award outright, and the first since 2003, when Tennessee Titans quarterback Steve McNair shared the NFL MVP award with Peyton Manning of the Indianapolis Colts.