Top MLS MVP Candidates
Shaun Clark / Contributor
Major League Soccer kicks off in two weeks and after some illuminating performances in 2021, the competition for this year's Landon Donovan MLS MVP award will be fierce.
Carles Gil took home the award a season ago after guiding New England on an incredible path to the Supporters' Shield before a narrow defeat in the playoffs to eventual champions New York City FC.
The league features so many bright talents including Josef Martinez, Chicharito and Ola Kamara,
The last three winners, including Gil, haven't been strikers though which means it's fair game for lots of up-and-coming MLS talent in 2022.
ONE37pm takes a look at the five players with the best opportunity at winning the 2022 MLS MVP award.
Carles Gil - New England Revolution
Gil is the reigning MLS MVP from a season ago and the New England Revolution attacker deserves every bit of recognition for orchestrating his side's attack in 2021, which saw the Eastern Conference side boast the best record in the regular season.
Gil's creativity with the ball and 14 assists helped win him the award a season ago.
Hany Mukhtar - Nashville SC
If any player was capable of knocking off Gil last year it was absolutely Nashville's Mukhtar. With 19 goals and 10 assists, Nashville shocked many in the Eastern Conference and the squad will only get better as long as Mukhtar continues playing at a high level.
Lucas Zelarayán - Columbus Crew
Zelarayan is coming off a campaign with 12 goals and the Crew need him to be clicking with Gyasi Zardes in the attack if they want to contend in the East again.
Emanuel Reynoso - Minnesota United
Reynoso certainly has room to grow in his third season with Minnesota, but the Argentine is surely one of the most skillful talents in MLS. The former Boca Juniors star is incredibly creative with his vision and can score some insane goals as well.
Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez - LA Galaxy
Chicharito is one of the biggest names in MLS right now and the Galaxy star had himself an extremely impressive 2021 after initially struggling with his transition to the league during a COVID-riddled 2020 campaign.
The El Tri star finished last year with 17 goals and there's no reason to believe he can't build off of that with Greg Vanney as manager.
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