Major League Soccer has announced the 2023 MLS Best XI presented by Continental Tire, which recognizes the league’s top players at each position as determined by members of the media, MLS players, and MLS club technical staffs. Among the group of elite performers from the 2023 MLS regular season are eight players who were selected for the first time.
The MLS Best XI presented by Continental Tire represents eight nations and seven clubs, all of which qualified for the Audi 2023 MLS Cup Playoffs.
2023 MLS Best XI presented by Continental Tire
Goalkeeper: Roman Bürki (St. Louis CITY SC)
Defenders: Matt Miazga (FC Cincinnati), Tim Parker (St. Louis CITY SC), Walker Zimmerman (Nashville SC)
Midfielders: Luciano ‘Lucho’ Acosta (FC Cincinnati), Thiago Almada (Atlanta United), Héctor Herrera (Houston Dynamo FC), Hany Mukhtar (Nashville SC)
Forwards: Dénis Bouanga (LAFC), Giorgos Giakoumakis (Atlanta United), Juan ‘Cucho’ Hernández (Columbus Crew)
St. Louis CITY SC, which placed the 2023 Allstate MLS Goalkeeper of the Year Roman Bürki and defender Tim Parker on this year’s MLS Best XI presented by Continental Tire, became the first expansion club to finish atop their conference in its inaugural season. St. Louis produced 56 points in 2023, tying the Chicago Fire in 1998 for the second-most points by an expansion club in their debut season.
The MLS Best XI presented by Continental Tire also features 2023 Landon Donovan MLS MVP Luciano ’Lucho’ Acosta and 2023 MLS Defender of the Year Matt Miazga, who guided their team to the league’s best regular season record for the first time in the club’s MLS history. Cincinnati also became the third club in league history to win the Supporters’ Shield title within two years of finishing at the bottom of the standings and claimed the top seed in the Audi 2023 MLS Cup Playoffs.
Walker Zimmerman earned his fifth consecutive MLS Best XI presented by Continental Tire honor, joining Chris Armas, Robin Fraser, Jaime Moreno (each with five), Dwayne De Rosario (six), and Landon Donovan (seven) as the only players to earn the honor at least five times. Hany Mukhtar was named to the MLS Best XI presented by Continental Tire team for the third consecutive year. Mukhtar, along with Cincinnati’s Lucho Acosta, became the sixth and seventh players in league history to record at least 10 goals and 10 assists in three different seasons in their MLS careers.
Second-year stars Thiago Almada and Juan ‘Cucho’ Hernández also earned MLS Best XI honors as the South American duo each recorded double-digit goals and assists during the regular season.
Rounding out the midfielders is another first-time MLS Best XI presented by Continental Tire selection, Héctor Herrera, who led his team and finished second in MLS with 17 assists in 2023.
MLS Golden Boot presented by Audi winner Dénis Bouanga and 2023 MLS Newcomer of the Year Giorgos Giakoumakis complete the MLS Best XI presented by Continental Tire awardees as first-time honorees. Bouanga was the league’s top scorer during the regular season with 20 goals, while Giakoumakis became the second-fastest player in league history to reach double-digit goals to start their MLS career with 10 goals in his first 766 minutes of action.