Major League Soccer today announced the 2022 Year-End Awards nominees for the 15 performance-based honors that will be awarded following the 2022 MLS regular season.
The Inter Miami CF nominees are:
2022 Landon Donovan MLS Most Valuable Player
Gonzalo Higuaín is currently the Club’s leading goalscorer this season, registering 13 goals with 17 shots on target, and three assists in 17 starts and 25 games played - the highest single-season goal tally by an Inter Miami CF player, surpassing his own record from last year (12). The most impressive contribution from the renowned striker has been his record of 11 goals and two assists in the last 13 games (dating back to July 13), which has catapulted the team from 10th place to a playoff-position seventh place. His goals include match winners in the two most crucial matches of the season to this point, one in the 82nd minute to secure a 2-1 win and brace over Columbus on Sept. 13, followed by a 94th minute winner in a 2-3 victory over D.C. United on Sept. 18. Higuaín has been involved in 13 of the last 23 Inter Miami goals, while prior to this stretch, he had scored six goals in the previous 29 games (dating back to Aug. 13, 2021). His outstanding scoring ability includes a perfect 100% conversion rate in his four penalties taken this year. Lastly, Higuaín has been named to the MLS Team of the Week on four occasions, tied for most on the team, and was honored as the MLS Player of the Week in Week 23 after netting a hat trick against FC Cincinnati on July 30, becoming the first-ever Inter Miami player to score three goals in the first half of a match and just the second Inter Miami player to score a hat trick.
Leonardo Campana is the Club’s second-leading scorer with 10 goals in 24 games played this season, 19 of them starts, in addition to two assists. Campana is the first runner-up leading scorer in Club history to record double-digit goals, a massive feat that has significantly and positively impacted the team’s playoff contention. The young striker’s contributions have resulted in valuable points for Inter Miami, as the team has gone unbeaten in seven of the eight games in which the Ecuadorian has scored or assisted, winning five and tying two, with its only loss coming on March 6. Notably, Campana scored the Club’s first-ever hat trick in a win over reigning Supporters’ Shields champions New England Revolution on April 9, recorded a game-winning assist in the 0-1 win over reigning Concacaf Champions League winners Seattle Sounders on April 16, scored a late equalizer on a 1-1 road tie at Dallas on July 4, and netted a brace in one of the side’s most important wins - the 2-3 victory at D.C. on Sept. 18. Campana has earned MLS Team of the Week honors twice and MLS Player of the Week honors once, following his perfect hat trick, scoring with his left foot, right foot and head.
MLS Newcomer of the Year
- Leonardo Campana
- Jean Mota
MLS Comeback Player of the Year
Gonzalo Higuaín has come back from a difficult 2021 personally that affected his on-the-pitch performances for most of the campaign. This season, Higuaín also suffered injuries that kept him out of the starting XI for 15 consecutive MLS games (from April 9 until July 16), but despite the difficult circumstances, the Argentinian came off the bench on July 13 and scored arguably the Club’s best goal of the year, which started to turn around his season and kicked off his impressive form of 13 direct goal contributions in the last 13 games.
After being the First Team third-choice goalkeeper for the first two seasons, and regularly playing and developing with Inter Miami CF II, Callender took up the task due to injuries and has since regularly started this season, starting 21 games and earning MLS Team of the Week honors on three occasions.
MLS Young Player of the Year
- Leonardo Campana
- Bryce Duke
MLS WORKS Humanitarian of the Year
Aimé Mabika has been a fixture in the community, helping drive Inter Miami’s outreach efforts in 2022. Notably, the Zambian defender has participated in several Kick Childhood Cancer initiatives, including delivering gifts to, and spending time with, children at the Baptist Health Miami Cancer Institute. On Kick Childhood Cancer Night at DRV PNK Stadium, Mabika also took time during pregame to celebrate and interact with other pediatric cancer patients. Additionally, he helped pack bags for Inter Miami’s annual Back-to-School Book Bag program, where the club donated over 250 bags packed with supplies to local children in need. Mabika also played a key role in the club’s Black History Month ideation group this year.
Mabika has taken on other community-driven initiatives, including volunteering at the NFL YET, Lester H. White Boys & Girls Club, where he spends time with the program’s participants and assists during special sports days. The defender also recently appeared at the Miami Shores Soccer Club to participate in a Q&A alongside DeAndre Yedlin for kids and their parents.
Allstate MLS Goalkeeper of the Year
- Drake Callender
MLS Defender of the Year
- Damion Lowe
- DeAndre Yedlin
Sigi Schmid MLS Coach of the Year
Following a busy offseason roster overhaul, including the departure of 15 players, head coach Phil Neville was one of the keys to constructing a younger, faster and more dynamic Inter Miami that reflected the values and culture of the organization. Eighteen signings were made between the winter and summer transfer windows, and despite the initial unfamiliarity of the group, Neville has been able to create a group that has already surpassed the most points in a single season in club history (42 points) and tied the most wins in a season (12) with three games to go. Additionally, Neville has helped make DRV PNK Stadium a fortress, with the club unbeaten in 11 of its last 12 home matches, winning nine of them. One of the most characteristic virtues of this Inter Miami squad led by Neville is its never-say-die attitude - the team has scored nine goals after the 80th minute to either tie or win a match. Additionally, the former Manchester United and Everton standout has been able to get the most out of his two forwards, Gonzalo Higuaín and Leonardo Campana, in key moments of the campaign and made them the first attacking duo in Club history to each record double-digit scoring figures. The English manager has also been capable of developing young talents that have been instrumental to the team’s success - MLS 22 Under 22 midfielder Bryce Duke, young MLS SuperDraft selections defenders Aimé Mabika and Ryan Sailor and three-time MLS Team of the Week goalkeeper Drake Callender. His core group of veteran leaders have also commanded this squad to a favorable position in the standings, a group including MLS All-Star and USMNT defender DeAndre Yedlin, four-time MLS Team of the Week winner Damion Lowe and team captain Gregore. Lastly, Neville has shaped the culture of the squad off the field that has resulted in a fun, amicable team that enjoys spending time together sharing unique activities.
Voting and Awards Additional Details
MLS clubs were able to nominate up to two players for the following awards:
- Landon Donovan MLS Most Valuable Player
- MLS Defender of the Year
- MLS Comeback Player of the Year
- MLS Newcomer of the Year
- MLS Young Player of the Year
Additionally, clubs were able to nominate one candidate for the following awards:
- Allstate MLS Goalkeeper of the Year
- Sigi Schmid MLS Coach of the Year
- MLS WORKS Humanitarian of the Year
- AT&T MLS Goal of the Year
- MLS Save of the Year presented by Allstate
Voting will be conducted online through a password-protected ballot. For each award, the votes from clubs, players, and media members will represent an equal share of 33.3 percent of the total vote. Each club vote includes one vote from the club’s head coach and one from either a Technical Director or General Manager. Clubs and players may not vote for their own team’s nominees. Votes cast for a club’s own nominees will not be counted.
A listing of all 15 awards categories and respective nomination criteria can be foundhere.
AT&T MLS Goal of the Year and MLS Save of the Year presented by Allstate will be administered by MLSsoccer.com via online voting open to fans from Oct. 12-14
The MLS Best XI – a compilation of the 11 best players by position from the 2022 season – will be determined by write-in votes from clubs, players, and media members with all players who appeared in a match during the 2022 season eligible for a vote. Voters will be asked to select 11 players, including one goalkeeper, at least three defenders, at least three midfielders, and at least two forwards in a common soccer formation (4-3-3, 3-4-3, 4-4-2, etc.). Players will be ranked from most to least votes, then selected by position to the Best XI.
Additional information regarding the 2022 MLS Year-End Awards nomination process and voting procedures can be found here.