Atlanta United and dominant strikers go hand in hand.
Giorgos Giakoumakis has been named the 2023 MLS Newcomer of the Year, an award recognizing the year’s most impactful new MLS player who has prior professional experience.
The Greek international, signed in February from Scotland’s Celtic FC to ostensibly replace club legend Josef Martínez, tallied 17 goals and three assists in 27 games (1,792 regular-season minutes).
Here are some fast facts about the Designated Player’s debut campaign:
- Finished third in the Golden Boot presented by Audi race.
- Had the league’s best goals-per-90-minutes mark (0.85) – minimum 1,500 minutes played.
- Became the second-fastest player in league history to reach double-digit goals to start their MLS career – 10 goals in his first 766 minutes of action.
- Giakoumakis’ 17 goals were the fourth-most in Atlanta United history, trailing only Martínez (2017-19).
- Six of Giakoumakis’ goals came via headers, the second-most in MLS this year.
- Named MLS Player of the Matchday presented by Continental Tire for Matchday 27.
- Won AT&T 5G Goal of the Matchday honors for Matchday 13.
- Named to the 2023 MLS All-Star Team.
Giakoumakis, who’s chasing a Euro 2024 spot with Greece, is the third Atlanta United player to earn this award after Thiago Almada (2022) and Miguel Almirón (2017). He beat out fellow finalists Lionel Messi (Inter Miami CF) and Eduard Löwen (St. Louis CITY SC).
The Newcomer of the Year award was voted on by MLS club technical staff, media and current MLS players. Below is a breakdown of the voting results.
1. Giorgos Giakoumakis (ATL)
2. Lionel Messi (MIA)
3. Eduard Löwen (STL)
MLS Newcomer of the Year Winners
- 2023: Giorgos Giakoumakis – Atlanta United
- 2022: Thiago Almada – Atlanta United
- 2021: Cristian Arango – Los Angeles Football Club
- 2020: Lucas Zelarayán – Columbus Crew
- 2019: Carles Gil – New England Revolution
- 2018: Zlatan Ibrahimović – LA Galaxy
- 2017: Miguel Almirón – Atlanta United
- 2016: Nicolás Lodeiro – Seattle Sounders FC
- 2015: Sebastian Giovinco – Toronto FC
- 2014: Pedro Morales – Vancouver Whitecaps FC
- 2013: Diego Valeri – Portland Timbers
- 2012: Federico Higuaín – Columbus Crew
- 2011: Mauro Rosales – Seattle Sounders FC
- 2010: Álvaro Saborío – Real Salt Lake
- 2009: Fredy Montero – Seattle Sounders FC
- 2008: Darren Huckerby – San Jose Earthquakes
- 2007: Luciano Emílio – D.C. United