MLS League Awards

Atlanta United's Thiago Almada named 2022 MLS Newcomer of the Year


What a year it was.

Atlanta United midfielder Thiago Almada has been named the 2022 MLS Newcomer of the Year, an honor recognizing the year’s most impactful new MLS player who has prior professional experience.

The 21-year-old Argentine joined Atlanta as a Designated Player in February, arriving on a reported league-record $16 million transfer from Velez Sarsfield. He led the Five Stripes in goal contributions (18), via 6g/12a, and was named to the MLS Team of the Week presented by Audi on five occasions (Weeks 11, 13, 25, 30, and 31).

Building on his success for Atlanta, Almada joined former ATLUTD midfielder Gonzalo ‘Pity’ Martinez as just the second player from MLS to earn a call-up with Argentina’s national team. Ahead of the 2022 World Cup, he debuted in a friendly match against Honduras (Sept. 23) after starring for La Albiceleste’s youth sides.

Almada is the second Atlanta player to earn this award after now-Newcastle United midfielder Miguel Almirón was recognized in 2017 during the club’s inaugural MLS season. He beat out fellow finalists Juan ‘Cucho’ Hernández (Columbus Crew) and Djordje Petrović (New England Revolution).

The Newcomer of the Year award was voted on by MLS club technical staff, media and current MLS players. Below is a breakdown of the voting results.

Voting Results
Voting Results
Thiago Almada (ATL)
Juan 'Cucho' Hernández (CLB)
Djordje Petrović (NE)

MLS Newcomer of the Year Winners

  • 2022: Thiago Almada – Atlanta United
  • 2021: Cristian Arango – Los Angeles Football Club
  • 2020: Lucas Zelarayán – Columbus Crew SC
  • 2019: Carles Gil – New England Revolution
  • 2018: Zlatan Ibrahimović – LA Galaxy
  • 2017: Miguel Almirón – Atlanta United
  • 2016: Nicolás Lodeiro – Seattle Sounders FC
  • 2015: Sebastian Giovinco – Toronto FC
  • 2014: Pedro Morales – Vancouver Whitecaps FC
  • 2013: Diego Valeri – Portland Timbers
  • 2012: Federico Higuaín – Columbus Crew SC
  • 2011: Mauro Rosales – Seattle Sounders FC
  • 2010: Álvaro Saborío – Real Salt Lake
  • 2009: Fredy Montero – Seattle Sounders FC
  • 2008: Darren Huckerby – San Jose Earthquakes
  • 2007: Luciano Emílio – D.C. United