Lionel Messi is a finalist for the MLS Newcomer of the Year award

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NEW YORK (AP) — Lionel Messi of Inter Miami CF is a finalist for Major League Soccer's newcomer of the year.

The league announced those up for its year-end awards Thursday with the winners being named throughout the MLS Cup Playoffs.

It is no surprise that Messi, Argentina's great who joined Inter Miami this summer, would be up for the honor. The global great has created a sensation since coming to play in the United States' top soccer league. He has posted 11 goals and eight assists since joining Miami for the MLS Leagues Cup competition in July.

Giorgos Giakoumakis of Atlanta United and Eduard Löwen of St. Louis City SC are the other finalists for the award, which the league defined as a player with previous professional experience who made his MLS debut in 2023.

The finalists for the MLS most valuable player award are FC Cincinnati midfielder Luciano “Lucho” Acosta, Atlanta United midfielder Thiago Almada and Los Angeles Football Club forward Dénis Bouanga.

Those up for coach of the year are Bradley Carnell of St. Louis City SC, Pat Noonan of FC Cincinnati and Wilfried Nancy of Columbus.

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AP MLS: https://apnews.com/hub/major-league-soccer