FC Cincinnati general manager Chris Albright, as part of Major League Soccer’s 2023 Mark Abbott Club and Executive Awards, has been named Sporting Executive of the Year.
The Orange & Blue, after three straight last-place finishes upon entering the league (2019-21) have qualified for two straight Audi MLS Cup Playoffs and won the 2023 MLS Supporters’ Shield.
Under Albright, the club has hired head coach Pat Noonan and added defensive midfielder Obinna Nwobodo and striker Aaron Boupendza as Designated Players. They’ve also acquired goalkeeper Roman Celentano via the MLS SuperDraft and brought center back Matt Miazga back to MLS.
Additionally, Albright has negotiated contract extensions for wingback Álvaro Barreal, striker Brandon Vazquez and midfielder/captain Luciano Acosta. He also orchestrated the club-record transfer of Brenner to Udinese this past summer (reported $10 million fee, plus add-ons and a sell-on percentage).
Albright’s recognition is the latest award for Cincy’s spectacular 2023, which ended in the Eastern Conference Final against Hell is Real rival and eventual MLS Cup champion Columbus Crew. Their accolades list includes:
In February, FC Cincinnati will make their Concacaf Champions Cup debut and look to build off earning a club-record 69 points (20W-5L-9D) in the regular season.
2023 Mark Abbott MLS Club & Executive Awards winners
Inter Miami CF led all clubs with four total awards, highlighted by chief business officer Xavier Asensi being named Doug Hamilton Executive of the Year.
Asensi played a significant role in bringing Lionel Messi to the club and managed the club’s business operations as they achieved significant growth in revenue and engagement across digital content.
- Doug Hamilton Executive of the Year – Xavier Asensi, Inter Miami CF
- Sporting Executive of the Year – Chris Albright, FC Cincinnati
- Academy of the Year – Columbus Crew
- Club Administrator of the Year – Jeffrey Robben, Nashville SC
- Communications Club of the Year – Sporting Kansas City
- Consumer Products Club of the Year – Nashville SC
- Corporate Partnership Activation of the Year – St. Louis CITY SC
- Corporate Partnership Club of the Year – Los Angeles Football Club
- Digital Activation of the Year – Nashville SC
- Digital and Social Media Club of the Year – Inter Miami CF
- eMLS Club of the Year – Atlanta United
- Equipment Manager and Staff of the Year – Sean Ruiz, New York Red Bulls
- Inclusion and Impact Award – Seattle Sounders FC
- Marisa Colaiano Community Relations Club of the Year – Chicago Fire FC
- Marketing Club of the Year – St. Louis CITY SC
- Marketing Initiative of the Year – Inter Miami CF
- Medical Staff of the Year – Austin FC
- Operations Club of the Year – Los Angeles Football Club
- Security Club of the Year – Inter Miami CF
- Strategy and Business Intelligence Club of the Year – Orlando City SC
- Supporter Management Club of the Year – Atlanta United
- Ticket Sales Club of the Year – FC Cincinnati
- Ticket Sales Initiative of the Year – Columbus Crew