Midfielders are the engines that make most teams ticks. In MLS, there is a myriad of these types of players who pull the strings in the middle of the field to them on to victory. Alongside attacking players, midfielders, are arguably the most important position to get right in the league. Without a solid midfield, then everything falls apart.
Here are 90minUS’s most in-form midfielders at the start of the 2023 MLS campaign…
Chris Durkin is a surprising name on the list, but watching him on the field eliminates all doubt. Durkin is extraordinarily flexible and can play anywhere in midfield. His goal against Orlando City shows that he’ll be a major player for DC in 2023.
DC United came into 2023 in the midst of a rebuild under head coach Wayne Rooney. One of the more surprising players emerging from that overhaul is Mateusz Klich. Klich’s presence alone has kicked DC’s midfield up a notch.
Gregore is, arguably, the most important player on Inter Miami. Unfortunately, out for the season with a foot injury, the Brazilian showed his class in the first two games he was featured in for IMCF.
Erik Thommy may not be the flashiest name on the list, but his tendency to hit line-breaking passes in the final third and create from deep is a massive weapon for Sporting KC’s attack.
Eduard Löwen is new to MLS but his impact has immediately been felt by St. Louis. His one goal and two assists on the year had spearheaded St. Louis’ three-game win streak.
Lucas Zelarayan has always been very good for Columbus, there’s no shock that he’s continuing his form in 2023. The player’s managed 30 goals and 23 assists in 80 games for the team since joining in 2020, establishing himself as a vital part of the team.
Zelarayan adapted so quickly to the club, inspiring Columbus Crew to the MLS Cup during his first campaign.
Hany Mukhtar is Nashville SC’s attacking engine. Their offense runs through him – that’s how important he is. Though he’s just getting back to full fitness, expect Nashville’s attack to continue to fly once he’s back in the starting eleven consistently.
He’s propelled Nashville to great heights, earning recognition throughout the process by winning the 2022 league MVP award.
What more can be said about Nicolas Lodeiro? Not only is he Seattle’s talisman, but he has been the face of the organization for the last seven years. Despite being 33 years old, he still has the vision to make Seattle’s offense click.
He propelled the team to win the MLS Cup, Concacaf Champions League and feature in the FIFA Club World Cup.
If Austin FC wants to get back to the Western Conference Playoffs, Sebastian Driussi will need to have a monster year. With a goal already to his name in 2023, the Argentine will look to pick up where he left off in 2022.
Overall, he’s managed 28 goals and 12 assists for Austin FC since its inaugural season in 2020.
Thiago Almada is the player to watch. His performances for Atlanta United have been outstanding and the world will take note. His game-winning free-kick against San Jose was an incredible moment, and won his side the match.
Beyond setpieces, the player’s ability to weave through defenders and find dangerous spaces inside the final third is something to keep an eye on.
He stands as the only active MLS player to ever lift the World Cup trophy, making history.