2024 MLS NEXT Pro Midseason Awards

2024 Midseason Awards updated

The 2024 MLS NEXT Pro season hits the halfway point with many dominant individual performances, surprising emergences from improved clubs, and incredible goals.

Players such as Sporting KC II's Kamron Habibullah and North Texas SC's Michael Collodi have consistently performed to become key players for their sides. Rising academy players have also emerged among the top performers in the league, with FC Cincinnati 2's Stefan Chirila and Philadelphia Union II's Eddy Davis among the top academy players making a name for themselves at the professional level.

Let's look at the midseason award winners in MLS NEXT Pro.

Player: Kamron Habibullah - Sporting KC II

Kamron Habibullah

Kamron Habibullah, a newcomer to Sporting KC II in 2024, has made his presence known through the first half of the season. The former Whitecaps FC 2 man has scored seven goals and added five assists to help Sporting KC II stand sixth in the Western Conference. He leads the league in goal contributions.

Habibullah enjoyed a fantastic start to the 2024 season, earning MLS NEXT Pro Player of the Month for April by scoring hat tricks in games against MNUFC2 and Colorado Rapids 2.

The 20-year-old Canada youth international played 1,320 minutes with Whitecaps FC 2 last season. He has previously featured for Canada at the 2022 CONCACAF U-20 Championships.

Goalkeeper: Michael Collodi (North Texas SC)

Michael Collodi North Texas SC

North Texas SC's back line has thrived in the first half of the 2024 season, with Michael Collodi's leadership and shot stopping playing a big role. In 12 starts, Collodi made 34 saves, recorded four clean sheets, and helped his side to four shootout wins.

"We are very happy for Michael Collodi," said North Texas interim head coach Michel Garbini. "He's been tremendous for us in goal through the first half of the season. He is a great leader for our group on and off the field. We're proud to have him here at North Texas SC."

Collodi signed an MLS NEXT Pro contract with North Texas in January. Collodi previously spent time as a FC Dallas academy player, and also logged more than 5,000 minutes in five seasons at Columbia University, where he made the second-most saves in school history.

North Texas looks to keep challenging for a top spot in the Western Conference, standing second in the conference halfway through the season with 30 points.

Rising Star: MyKhi Joyner (St Louis CITY2)

MyKhi Joyner St Louis CITY2

At 17 years old, MyKhi Joyner is already becoming known for his clutch performances. The St Louis CITY2 forward has scored three game-winning goals so far in 2024, with six total goals to his name.

CITY2 leads MLS NEXT Pro with 33 points, and Joyner's breakout season is a big reason why. He's played 652 minutes in eight starts, an increase from last season's 231 minutes. Joyner scored from a tight angle in the 80th minute to hand CITY2 a 2-1 win over MNUFC2 on the road for one of his most memorable goals of the year.

Team: Philadelphia Union II

Union II A

One of the top-scoring teams in MLS NEXT Pro midway through 2024, Union II have set the standard for excellent play. Union II have scored 29 goals in 13 games and have also maintained an outstanding defensive record with only 13 goals allowed.

Perhaps even more impressive than the Union II's numbers so far in 2024 is the age of the players putting up those numbers. Four of the team's top five scorers are teenagers, with 18-year-old academy player Eddy Davis leading the way with five goals. CJ Olney, a 17-year-old who recently made his Union first-team debut, leads the team in goal contributions with four goals and six assists.

Union II Assistant Coach Anthony Flores has managed to parlay the Union's high level of academy talent into a high-performing team.

"That's part of our goal, to develop these players each day," Flores said. "A lot of credit should go to the players. They put in a lot of energy every day. They prepare well and take care of their bodies off the pitch, so this is just kind of a result of all the good things we've been doing throughout the season."

Coach: Tyrone Marshall (FC Cincinnati 2)

Tyrone Marshall FC Cincinnati 2

The 2024 version of FC Cincinnati 2 looks nothing like the team that struggled throughout 2023 to finish 11th in the Eastern Conference.

Instead, Tyrone Marshall has coached the side to stand second-place in the Eastern Conference at the midpoint in the 2024 season. FC CIncinnati 2 earned a statement 2-0 win over Union II in early June and looks to challenge for the top spot in the conference as the season continues.

"Thank you to MLS NEXT Pro for the Mid-Season Best Coach honor," Marshall said. "This award reflects the dedication and teamwork of our players, staff, and the entire FC Cincinnati organization. I am grateful for this recognition and will continue to push for success on and off the field."

Several new stars thrive in Marshall's 3-5-2 system, with Stefan Chirila breaking out by scoring four goals and adding two assists. Fullback Amir Daley has contributed in defense and attack, providing four goals and four assists. Kenji Mboma Dem, a 22-year-old forward, emerged in June to score three goals.

FCC2 heads into the second half of the season on a three-game winning streak.