Who’s The Best in MLS? GOAL Looks at the Early Frontrunners for 2024 MLS MVP

MLS MVP Power Rankings: Inter Miami Superstars Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez Face Competition from Christian Benteke and Chicho Arango

With 11 matchdays complete in the 2024 MLS season, there are countless standout performers across the league that have delivered week-in and week-out.

From Inter Miami’s star duo of Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez to Real Salt Lake’s brilliant goalscoring machine Chicho Arango, there is no shortage of exceptional talent in MLS. However, at the end of the season, only one player can be named league MVP. Who will that be?

GOAL takes a look at the candidates, just over two months into the 2024 season…

Christian Benteke DC United 2024

USA Today Sports

6Christian Benteke | D.C. United

The ex-Liverpool striker has had a lightning start to 2024, with eight goals in eight matches to open the campaign.

The D.C. striker began the season on the highest of notes, scoring a hat-trick on opening day against the New England Revolution. He did, however, miss two matches in the weeks that followed, but his goal-scoring heroics keep him in firm contention in this early-season ranking.

Luis Suarez Inter Miami Nashville Concachampions 2024Brennan Asplen/Getty Images

5Luis Suarez | Inter Miami

His knees may not work, but his shooting boots surely do. The February/March Player of the Month, Suarez has been stupendous in front of the net for the Herons in his first stint in MLS.

The Uruguay international has seven goals and four assists in 10 appearances this season, and doesn’t look to be slowing down. He’s adjusted to life in South Beach remarkably well, deservedly finding himself in contention for prestigious honors.

Lewis Morgan MLS 2024

USA Today Images

4Lewis Morgan | New York Red Bulls

The Scottish winger has had a blistering start to 2024 with the Red Bulls, helping them revamp their fortunes after missing a large chunk of 2023 due to hip surgery.

With seven goals in 10 appearances so far this season, Morgan has led the Red Bulls to third in the Eastern Conference. He’s firmly put his feet in the ring for 2024 MVP, and might be the dark-horse candidate of the spring.

If he keeps his scoring form up, the top of the Eastern Conference will be must-watch for fans heading into the summer.

Lucho Acosta FC Cincinnati 2023Getty Images

3Luciano Acosta | FC Cincinnati

The reigning MLS MVP, Acosta and FC Cincy are on fire to start 2024. While the least flashy scorer of the lot of candidates, Acosta might be the most well-rounded.

With four goals and five assists in 10 appearances this season, the Argentine has led the reigning MLS Supporters’ Shield winners to second in the Eastern Conference, trailing Inter Miami by three points, while having a game in-hand.

Acosta also leads MLS in key passes – by a vast margin – with 37 this season, and is the only player on this list in the top 10 of that category.

 

 

Chicho Arango Real Salt Lake 2024USA Today Images

2Chicho Arango | Real Salt Lake

If there is a word that best describes Arango, it would be ridiculous. With eight goals and three assists in 10 games, he’s almost single-handedly put RSL top of the West with 18 points as the clear leader of the attack.

Arguably, he was robbed of April’s Player of the Month honor, but when you’re up against the likes of Lionel Messi, it’s tough to argue. When you’re as consistent as Arango in front of the net, though, you cannot be left out of the conversation.

The Colombian’s performances have all of MLS on watch, as well as his national team ahead of Copa America this summer.

Lionel Messi Inter Miami Nashville SCUSA Today Images

1Lionel Messi | Inter Miami

To nobody’s surprise, the Argentine has been simply sensational. There’s no other way to describe his impact on MLS, even with his limited minutes this season due to injury.

Despite missing four league matches, he has a remarkable nine goals and four assists in seven league appearances. The clear MVP frontrunner and April’s Player of the Month in the MLS, Messi has taken South Beach by storm – again.

With the 36-year-old preparing to play for his country in Copa America – and potentially the Paris Olympic Games – it will be interesting to see how his numbers hold up against the rest of the league throughout the season.

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