Lionel Messi named finalist for MLS Newcomer of the Year despite playing just six games

Some Major League Soccer fans weren’t pleased to hear the news that Lionel Messi was one of three finalists for the MLS Newcomer of the Year award. While the Argentine World Cup winner dominated headlines, he only made six MLS appearances.

Messi joins Atlanta United striker Giorgos Giakoumakis and St. Louis City midfielder Eduard Löwen as the finalists for the newcomer award.

Here’s a brief overview of the three players’ MLS stats this season.


Embed from Getty Images

  • Appearances: 27
  • Minutes: 1,792
  • Goals: 17
  • Assists: 0


Embed from Getty Images

  • Appearances: 29
  • Minutes: 2,310
  • Goals: 6
  • Assists: 9


Embed from Getty Images

  • Appearances: 6
  • Minutes: 372
  • Goals: 1
  • Assists: 2

Only MLS games are considered for the award which means Messi’s Leagues Cup run and contributions aren’t supposed to be considered for the award. The criteria is strictly based off the MLS regular season.

Fans weren’t impressed.

The Athletic’s Tom Bogert did make a good point that the media might not be the sole people to blame for the nomination. Media members, coaches, technical directors, general managers AND all MLS first-team players got to vote.

There’s a good chance that Messi’s inclusion was due to players casting their pick for him.

There were rumors earlier in the season that Messi could have been a candidate for the Landon Donovan MLS MVP award which would have been extremely ridiculous. Thankfully that rumor didn’t come true as Luciano Acosta, Thiago Almada and Denis Bouanga were named the three MVP finalists.

Winners of the awards will be announced in the coming weeks during the MLS Cup Playoffs.

Videos you might like