MVP Acosta, goal leader Bouanga named to 2023 MLS Best 11

MVP Acosta, goal leader Bouanga named to 2023 MLS Best 11

© AFP 2022
November 28, 2023 at 5:30 PM
MLS goals leader Denis Bouanga, a forward for Los Angeles FC, was among the players named the MLS Best 11 for the 2023 season
MLS goals leader Denis Bouanga, a forward for Los Angeles FC, was among the players named the MLS Best 11 for the 2023 season. Photo: Steph Chambers / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/Getty Images via AFP/File
Source: AFP

Leading goal scorer Denis Bouanga and Most Valuable Player Luciano Acosta were among the MLS Best 11 players named on Tuesday by the league as the top men at their positions.

Luciano, an Argentine midfielder who helped spark FC Cincinnati to the regular-season title, was named for the third time to the Best 11 while French-born forward Bouanga, who plays for Gabon, netted 20 goals for defending champion Los Angeles FC and was among eight first-time players receiving the award.

Inter Miami's Lionel Messi, who only began playing MLS matches late in the campaign, was not among those selected even though the Argentine superstar led the squad to the Leagues Cup, an event featuring MLS and Mexican League clubs.

Players were selected in voting by players, coaching staffs and a media panel.

Nashville defender Walker Zimmerman earned his fifth consecutive Best 11 nod, the American joining only five other players to claim the award five or more times, while German midfield teammate Hany Mukhtar made the Best 11 for a third consecutive season.

MLS Defender of the Year Matt Miazga of the United States was also named from Cincinnati, which will face Columbus in an MLS playoff semi-final on Saturday for the chance to face LAFC or Houston in the MLS Cup final.

St. Louis City, which became the first expansion club to win a conference title by claiming the West crown, placed two players on the squad -- MLS Goalkeeper of the Year Roman Buerki of Switzerland and US defender Tim Parker.

Others on the Best 11 included Argentine midfielder Thiago Almada of Atlanta and Mexican midfielder Hector Herrera of Houston plus Greek forward Giorgos Giakoumakis of Atlanta and Colombian forward Juan Hernandez of Columbus.

Authors
© AFP 2022 photo
© AFP 2022