“Luciano has had a terrific first season with D.C. United and we congratulate him on receiving this prestigious award,” said United General Manager Dave Kasper. “He is an extremely hard worker, with and without the ball, and, in a short amount of time, he has become one of the most dangerous attacking players in MLS. Luciano has been a great addition to our club and we look forward to his future contributions to our success.”
In addition to leading the League in goals, Emilio was named MLS Player of the Week three times, tied for most weekly honors this season. He earned Player of the Week honors in week 11 after scoring three goals in two games, with two goals coming against the Chicago Fire in a 3-1 victory on June 16. His second honor came for a two-goal performance in D.C.’s 3-0 win over New England in Week 18 and in Week 23 after two straight two-goal performances in September.
Emilio was also honored as September’s MLS Player of the Month after he scored six goals in six games. He scored twice in a 2-2 tie with Chivas USA on September 6 and then notched another two goals in a 4-2 victory over New England on September 9. He then tallied a goal in the 2-1 victory over Real Salt Lake on September 12 and finished the month with his 20th goal of the season in a 4-1 victory over Toronto FC on September 29.
Emilio was the first player since 2002 to score at least 20 goals, when Carlos Ruiz (24) and Taylor Twellman (23) each eclipsed the mark. He also surpassed Roy Lassister for the second highest season tally in United’s club history. Emilio had a team and League-high five multi-goal games. He also recorded goals in five consecutive games, from 6/10-7/04, which was the second longest streak in the League.
The first-year MLS forward joined D.C. United in January 2007 from CD Olimpia of Honduras and immediately had an impact with his new team, scoring four goals in the CONCACAF Champions Cup and leading D.C. United to the tournament semifinals. Emilio previously played professionally in Brazil, Germany, Honduras, Mexico and the United States.
Previous winners of Major League Soccer’s MVP award:
2006: Christian Gomez (D.C. United)
2005: Taylor Twellman (New England Revolution)
2004: Amado Guevara (MetroStars)
2003: Preki (Kansas City Wizards)
2002: Carlos Ruiz (LA Galaxy)
2001: Alex Pineda Chacon (Miami Fusion)
2000: Tony Meola (Kansas City Wizards)
1999: Jason Kreis (Dallas Burn)
1998: Marco Etcheverry (D.C. United)
1997: Preki (Kansas City Wizards)
1996: Carlos Valderrama (Tampa Bay Mutiny)