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Best American MLS players in 2023 season

Despite MLS being the top American league, it's not too common to see American players get attention for individual awards.

Still, at least a few players who represent the Stars and Stripes seem to break out each season.

We will review the best players from the U.S in Major League Soccer from the 2023 campaign.

Brian White (Vancouver Whitecaps)

Vancouver qualified for the the MLS Cup Playoffs after finishing sixth in the Eastern Conference, but fell at the first hurdle to eventual runners-up Los Angeles.

Striker Brian White was a pivotal reason for their qualification, with his fifteen goals making him the highest scoring American in the league in 2023.

The forward is deadly inside of the eighteen-yard box, with every single one of his goals coming from within the area, including eight headers.

This was his best ever goal-scoring season and if this form continues, a national call-up could be just around the corner for the 27 year-old.

Roman Celentano (FC Cincinnati)

Despite being only 23, goalkeeper Roman Celentano has already notched up sixty appearances in the league, all of which coming for current club FC Cincinnati.

The goalkeeper was pegged to go far in MLS after Cincinnati made him the highest-drafted goalie (second overall) since current Philadelphia Union star Andre Blake was picked first nine years ago.

Cincinnati had a superb regular season with Celentano as the last line of defense, as his 12 clean sheets (second in the league) helped Cincinnati to top the Eastern Confernece and reach the semifinals of the playoffs, losing to eventual winners Columbus Crew in extra time.

Celentano also kept two clean sheets in his four play-off games, and it is unlikely that coach Pat Noonan will see any reason to trade the shot-stopper any time soon.

Duncan McGuire (Orlando City)

McGuire was drafted by Orlando in the first round for the 2023 season and his breakout MLS campaign has shown how high his potential is.

The 22 year old striker netted 13 goals in just 17 starts (29 total appearances) and ended the season with an astonishing 0.84 goals per 90, as well as just over 72% of shots taken hitting the target.

The young forward’s fantastic year was rewarded with his first US Under 23’s international call-up, scoring once in two games.

There is no doubt that McGuire has a bright future ahead of him, and could make a big money move to Europe if he continues to grow at his current rate.

Brooks Lennon (Atlanta United)

Atlanta have not maintained any domestic dominance since their debut MLS cup win in 2018, the same year they joined the league structure as an expansion team.

The Five Stripes have qualified for the play-offs just twice this decade, including 2023, with defender Brooks Lennon a bright light within this side.

Part of the youth set up at Liverpool in his early career, Lennon has become a household name in Georgia by contributing four goals and 10 assists this season.

His side will have to work on the defensive output, with the team's 53 regular season goals conceded the worst of any play-off side, but if this issue can be resolved then Atlanta could have a very bright season ahead of them.

Darlington Nagbe (Columbus Crew)

Crew captain Darlington Nagbe knows how to win in the MLS, with his trophy lift in December the fourth of his career and his second for Columbus.

Nagbe started 32 of his 34 games this season and kept an astonishingly high pass accuracy rate of 93.6%, barely putting a foot wrong across the season.

The 33 year old has recently signed a contract extension until 2025 and despite him nearing the end of his career, he might still have the quality to lead the charge for his fifth title.

Aidan Morris (Columbus Crew)

Nagbe’s central midfield partner Aidan Morris had an equally impressive season as he won his second MLS Cup,

The holding midfielder made 58 successful tackles last season, second only to Nigerian Obinna Nwobodo of Cincinnati, and also chipped in with 11 goal contributions across the campaign.

Similarly to Nagbe, Morris’s passing accuracy was also near perfect, misplacing just 7.5% of his pass attempts.

If both midfield stalwarts can stay fit for 2024, then the Crew could be in for another successful campaign as they bid to retain their crown.

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