It's end-of-the-season awards time, the moment for lively debates and discussions about who the year's top performers were in Major League Soccer.
However, as far as the Extratime crew is concerned, there is no debate when it comes to the 2022 Landon Donovan MLS MVP award.
Nashville SC talisman Hany Mukhtar is their unanimous choice for MVP in 2022 – a year in which he's almost single-handedly carried the club on his shoulders towards the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs, while solidifying his status as arguably the overall best player in the league.
That's just the numbers talking, specifically his 23g/11a output, while accounting for nearly 60 percent of Nashville's goals over the past two seasons.
But according to Calen Carr, the impact and importance of the MLS Golden Boot presented by Audi frontrunner go way beyond any quantifiable metric.
"[He's] the most entertaining, exciting player in the league," Carr said. "I think he has just this incredible ability to control the game or to make it in the moments that matter: in open space, one-on-one, finishing, he comes up with audacious opportunities."
Added Carr: "When you think of what this Nashville team would look like without Hany, that strengthens his case as well."
2022 MVP | Extratime Awards
While the MVP race is now presumably a one-man race heading into Decision Day, things were neck-and-neck between Mukhtar and Austin FC's Sebastián Driussi over most of the summer. For that reason, Andrew Wiebe gave the Argentine his due recognition while also confirming him as Extratime's second choice.
"Driussi has been absolutely wonderful," Wiebe said, noting that Driussi's 21g/7a tally remained virtually unchanged during the final stretch of the regular season.
"The last five games, just a single goal for Austin as their form collapsed a little bit," Wiebe continued. " ... That's in no way a knock on Sebastián Driussi, because he is, in our opinion, the second most valuable player in the entire league in 2022."
David Gass, meanwhile, made the case for Dániel Gazdag in third place, arguing that the Philadelphia Union "would never have been in this Supporters' Shield race" if not for the Hungarian's offensive production of 19g/9a.
To find out who rounds out the Extratime MVP top five list, and to hear their entire end-of-season award nominees and winners, watch the full episode here.