2023 MLS Best XI presented by Continental Tire
Major League Soccer has unveiled the 2023 MLS Best XI presented by Continental Tire, recognizing the league’s top players at each position.
Atlanta United announced in February it has signed Greek international forward Giorgos Giakoumakis (Yor-ghos Yah-koo-MA-kees) through the 2026 season. Giakoumakis joins from Celtic F.C. in the Scottish Premiership and will occupy a designated player and international roster spot pending the receipt of his International Transfer Certificate (ITC) and P-1 Visa.
“Giorgos is a player who’s been on the club’s radar for a while and we’re excited to bring him to Atlanta,” Vice President and Technical Director Carlos Bocanegra said. “He’s a powerful striker who loves to get in the box and score goals. He plays with a high intensity, works hard and is someone we think will help the team both in the attack and leading the line defensively. We’re excited to welcome him to the club and integrate him into the squad.”
Giakoumakis, 28, played the last two seasons in the Scottish Premiership with Celtic F.C. and brings a winning pedigree with him. He was the league’s top goal scorer with 13 during the 2021-22 season and helped Celtic win both the league title and Scottish League Cup. This season, Giakoumakis tallied six goals in 19 appearances as Celtic sit nine points clear atop the standings. Across all competitions, the forward scored 26 goals in 57 appearances for Celtic F.C.
The Heraklion, Greece native began his career at P.O. Atsaleniou before transferring to Platanias in 2012. After a couple of loan stints, Giakoumakis earned more regular playing time in the 2014-15 season with Platanias and scored his first Super League goal on April 26, 2015 against Panetolikos. In his final season with Platanias, the striker scored 11 goals in 26 Super League appearances, earning him a move to AEK Athens.
Over three seasons with AEK, Giakoumakis made a total of 48 appearances across all competitions, including featuring in the UEFA Europa League and UEFA Champions League group stages. In August, 2020, the striker moved to the Dutch Eredivisie and joined VVV-Venlo on a permanent transfer. The Greek striker blossomed in the Dutch top flight, scoring 26 goals in 30 appearances to earn the league’s golden boot honor. His performance that season caught the attention of Scottish giants Celtic F.C. whom he joined in August 2021.
Giakoumakis has represented his country Greece at both the U-21 and senior level. He’s made 11 appearances and scored two goals for his country. He scored on his international debut on Nov. 11, 2020 in a friendly against Cyprus.