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MLS NEXT Jul 06, 2023

MLS NEXT individual award winners announced for 2022-23 season

NEW YORK MLS NEXT announced the winners of the MVP, Goal of the Year, and Sportsmanship Award for the 2022-23 MLS NEXT regular season.

Players and teams from each of the four age groups (U-15, U-16, U-17, U-19) were selected based on their performances over the 2022-23 MLS NEXT regular season.

The four MLS NEXT ’22-’23 MVPs were selected by MLS NEXT personnel. Each MLS NEXT ’22-’23 Goal of the Year was chosen by fans, who participated in a social media vote to select the best goal of the season from each of the four age groups. The ’22-’23 Sportsmanship Award was awarded to teams based off a disciplinary point system that considered players and staff yellow card and red card totals, which were then adjusted for the number of games played by that club. All 2023 Generation adidas Cup matches were excluded from the point system.

2022-23 U-15 MLS NEXT Awards

U-15 MLS NEXT ’22-’23 MVP – Liam Lambert (LAFC)

Lambert was the captain and star midfielder for an LAFC team that went undefeated in the regular season and at MLS NEXT Flex. The U.S. Youth International played the second-most minutes on the team and scored seven goals throughout the season. Overall, LAFC’s U-15 side went 14-0-0 in the regular season, outscoring opponents by a remarkable 34-4 margin. Lambert’s exceptional creative play in the midfield and overall leadership helped him take home the MLS NEXT ’22-’23 MVP.

U-15 MLS NEXT ’22-’23 Goal of the Year – Sam Goldstein (St. Louis Scott Gallagher)

U-15 MLS NEXT ’22-’23 Sportsmanship Award – PA Classics

2022-23 U-16 MLS NEXT Awards

U-16 MLS NEXT ’22-’23 MVP – Maxim Scordo (Strikers FC)

The top scorer in all of MLS NEXT over the 2022-23 season, Scordo served as the clinical forward for Strikers FC, who finished as the top seed entering the MLS NEXT Cup Playoffs. In 32 starts on the season, Scordo scored 52 times and played over 2,000 regular season minutes. He also played a key role at MLS NEXT Flex, scoring three times in as many starts. Overall, Scordo was the most prolific striker in all of MLS NEXT during 2022-23 en route to being named the MLS NEXT ’22-’23 MVP.

U-16 MLS NEXT ’22-’23 Goal of the Year – Maxim Scordo (Strikers FC) 

U-16 MLS NEXT ’22-’23 Sportsmanship Award – Rochester New York FC

2022-23 U-17 MLS NEXT Awards

U-17 MLS NEXT ’22-’23 MVP – Olger Escobar (New England Revolution)

The Revolution’s Olger Escobar’s stellar 2022-23 season earned him the first MLS NEXT ’22-’23 MVP honor in New England history. A dynamic winger, Escobar produced 15 goals in 17 starts over the course of the 2022-23 season. He also elevated his play at MLS NEXT Flex (three goals) and MLS NEXT Fest (two goals), guiding the Revolution to a top-10 seed in the MLS NEXT Cup Playoffs. Escobar also excelled on the international stage with Guatemala at the U-17 CONCACAF Championship, where he tied for the fourth most goals (four) while leading his country to the quarterfinals for the first time since 2013.

U-17 MLS NEXT ’22-’23 Goal of the Year – Maxx Eichenbaum (Cedar Stars Academy – Monmouth) 

U-17 MLS NEXT ’22-’23 Sportsmanship Award – Real Colorado

2022-23 U-19 MLS NEXT Awards

U-19 MLS NEXT ’22-’23 MVP – Ryder Mills (FC Cincinnati)

Mills was dominant in the U-19 age group during the 2022-23 regular season, scoring 27 goals in 22 starts for FC Cincinnati. The forward played an instrumental role in FC Cincinnati winning 19 of their 27 regular season and qualification games during the season, which helped them earn the seventh seed at the MLS NEXT Cup Playoffs. Mills, who is committed to play at Yale University, has also seen action in MLS NEXT Pro in 2023, scoring twice in 11 appearances.

U-19 MLS NEXT ’22-’23 Goal of the Year – Luke Walsh (Beachside Soccer Club)

U-19 MLS NEXT ’22-’23 Sportsmanship Award – Bethesda Soccer Club