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Giakoumakis tops Messi for 2023 MLS Newcomer of the Year honor

A deserved nod for Atlanta’s striker.

MLS: Atlanta United FC at FC Dallas Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Major League Soccer announced on Friday that Atlanta United striker Giorgos Giakoumakis has been named the 2023 Newcomer of the Year.

The Greece international beat out some guy named Lionel Messi, garnering 46 percent of vote on average. St. Louis City FC’s Eduard Löwen finished in third.

Since being signed in March, Giakoumakis has taken MLS by storm. He led the Five Stripes with 17 goals, finishing in a tie for second in the Golden Boot race. More impressively, his robust goal tally didn’t include a single penalty kick.

Aside from the outstanding attacking production, Giorgos has brought an intensity and passion to the team’s front line that sets the tone for the entire team. After battling injury woes early in the season, he finally settled into the team and eventually became a leader and focal point he was brought in to be.

While 2023 was a great introduction to MLS for Giakoumakis, the pressure will be squarely on him next season to replicate the success and take it even further. Perhaps a fully healthy season with some experience under his belt could help him take that final step towards the Golden Boot.