The 22-year-old, during his second MLS season, provided the second-most goal contributions this year (30 with 11g/19a). Almada previously won 2022 MLS Newcomer of the Year honors and last December, while playing for Argentina alongside now-Inter Miami CF superstar Lionel Messi, became the league's first active World Cup winner.
Almada initially joined ATLUTD in February 2022 from Vélez Sarsfield for a reported league-record $16 million transfer fee. Now, speculation has ensued that Almada could challenge the MLS outbound transfer record ($27 million) Premier League side Newcastle United reportedly provided Atlanta United in January 2019 for Miguel Almirón.
In 2023, some key accomplishments for Almada include:
- Played for the MLS All-Stars vs. Arsenal in the 2023 MLS All-Star Game presented by Target.
- Won league-high three MLS Player of the Matchday presented by Continental Tire honors (Matchdays 1, 4 & 28).
- Named MLS Player of the Month presented by CELSIUS for February/March 2023.
- Won three AT&T 5G Goal of the Matchday awards (Matchdays 1, 4 & 22).
- Set the Atlanta United single-season assist record (19).
- Since joining Atlanta United in 2022, Almada has the second-most assists (31) and fourth-most goal contributions (48) of any MLS player over that stretch.
- Trailed only FC Cincinnati's Luciano Acosta for the MLS goal contributions lead.
The Young Player of the Year award honors the top player in MLS age 22 and under. Players born on, or before, Jan. 1, 2001, were eligible for selection.
1. Thiago Almada (ATL)
2. Duncan McGuire (ORL)
3. Aidan Morris (CLB)
Young Player of the Year/Rookie of the Year winners
Young Player of the Year
- 2023: Thiago Almada – Atlanta United
- 2022: Jesús Ferreira – FC Dallas
- 2021: Ricardo Pepi – FC Dallas
- 2020: Diego Rossi – Los Angeles Football Club
Rookie of the Year
- 2019: Andre Shinyashiki – Colorado Rapids
- 2018: Corey Baird – Real Salt Lake
- 2017: Julian Gressel – Atlanta United
- 2016: Jordan Morris – Seattle Sounders FC
- 2015: Cyle Larin – Orlando City SC
- 2014: Tesho Akindele – FC Dallas
- 2013: Dillon Powers – Colorado Rapids
- 2012: Austin Berry – Chicago Fire FC
- 2011: C.J. Sapong – Sporting Kansas City
- 2010: Andy Najar – D.C. United
- 2009: Omar Gonzalez – LA Galaxy
- 2008: Sean Franklin – LA Galaxy
- 2007: Maurice Edu – Toronto FC
- 2006: Jonathan Bornstein – Chivas USA
- 2005: Michael Parkhurst – New England Revolution
- 2004: Clint Dempsey – New England Revolution
- 2003: Damani Ralph – Chicago Fire FC
- 2002: Kyle Martino – Columbus Crew
- 2001: Rodrigo Faria – MetroStars
- 2000: Carlos Bocanegra – Chicago Fire FC
- 1999: Jay Heaps – Miami Fusion
- 1998: Ben Olsen – D.C. United
- 1997: Mike Duhaney – Tampa Bay Mutiny
- 1996: Steve Ralston – Tampa Bay Mutiny