MLS League Awards

Hany Mukhtar won't settle as MLS MVP: "I want to make history" with Nashville SC


With the personal accolades secured, Hany Mukhtar is now focused on taking the next big step with Nashville SC.

The 2022 Landon Donovan MLS Most Valuable Player winner was presented with his award Tuesday afternoon at GEODIS Park, which opened its doors this season with the 27-year-old star as the face of the franchise that's made the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs in each of its first three years in MLS.

Nashville can boast having the league's newest crown jewel of a stadium and the league's best player. All that's missing at this point are trophies.

Mukhtar is ready to help them get some.

"I'm looking forward to making history here," this year's MVP and MLS Golden Boot presented by Audi recipient said. "Winning some silverware for the city."

Dominant numbers

In Mukhtar, who arrived in Nashville as the club's first-ever Designated Player in 2019 from Brøndby of Denmark, the Coyotes have the perfect building block to achieve this.

Simply put, nobody else in the league comes close to what he's been able to produce in recent years. The German-born attacker has the most goals/assists combined (62) by 16 over the past two seasons. In 2022, his 34 goal contributions (23 goals, 11 assists) were tied for fifth-most in a single MLS season.

This output accounted for 65.4% of Nashville’s goals.

"[Nashville GM Mike Jacobs] said one very powerful thing to me," Mukhtar recalled about first being approached by the club three years ago. "He said, 'Hey, I wanna build a team around you.' That's not what you hear a lot of times as a player.

"That's the place where I have to go."

MLS success story

Upon arriving at Music City as a promising 24-year-old, the Berlin native eventually evolved into MLS's most dominant offensive player.

According to Mukhtar, this was made possible by Nashville assistant coach Steve Guppy.

"He [Guppy] put the work, put the hours in for me in making me a better player," the Hertha BSC product said, remembering the first conversation he ever had with the British coach.

"You're a player in the middle of the field. You need to be a player in the last third of the field, where you get in scoring situations," Guppy told him at the time.

It's been quite the ride ever since, and Mukhtar credits Major League Soccer with helping him reach another level.

"A kid from Germany comes to Nashville at 24 years old and three years later is the MVP. That shows a lot about this league. You can get better and you can take the next step in your career."

Cup dreams

For Mukhtar, that next step involves nothing less than winning an MLS Cup with the team that made him a bonafide star.

"I wanna do great, I wanna do something great," he said. "That fits perfectly with the goals of the club.

"We want to win at one point silverware. That's why I re-signed here in Nashville. We have to work hard. And me as a player, in general, I always work hard and try to get better."