FC Cincinnati star Luciano Acosta, leading his club's ascent into the Supporters' Shield lead, has been voted MLS Player of the Matchday presented by Continental Tire for Matchday 14 of the 2023 campaign.
The dynamic Argentine was at his finest in Cincinnati's 3-2 Hell is Real derby victory over the Columbus Crew on Saturday, notching two goals at TQL Stadium to help deliver a massive Rivalry Week result. The victory moves FC Cincinnati's home record to a perfect 8W-0L-0D, providing the foundation for their early perch at the No. 1 spot on the league table (9W-1L-3D, 30 points).
Acosta's goals came via a 17th-minute opener and a 23rd-minute penalty kick, also playing a key role in spearheading the sequence that led to Junior Moreno's 67th-minute game-winner. The brace gives Acosta five goals and three assists in 12 MLS appearances (11 starts) this season, making him the first player in FC Cincinnati history to score at least five goals in three different seasons.
Player of the Matchday 14: Luciano Acosta
Since joining the Orange & Blue in 2021, Acosta has now racked up 54 goal contributions (22 goals, 32 assists), tied for second-most in MLS in that span behind only Nashville SC star Hany Mukhtar.
Acosta becomes the second-ever Cincinnati player to take Player of the Matchday presented by Continental Tire honors, joining teammate Brenner (soon joining Serie A side Udinese), who did so three times in 2022 (Matchdays 17, 30 and 34). It's Acosta's third such honor in his MLS career, but first since he did so in Matchday 31 of 2018 while playing for D.C. United.
FC Cincinnati will look to pad their Shield lead in Matchday 15, when they return to MLS play Saturday by visiting the Colorado Rapids (9:30 pm ET | MLS Season Pass).
The MLS Player of the Matchday presented by Continental Tire is selected each matchday of the regular season through both media and fan voting in a process conducted by MLS Communications. A panel of journalists from the North American Soccer Reporters (NASR) comprises 75 percent of the vote, while a Twitter fan vote represents the remaining 25 percent of voting. NASR consists of members of print, television, radio, and online media.