Omaha Kings Forward Manuel Lira Named MLIS MVP

Major League Indoor Soccer announced today that Omaha Kings forward Manuel Lira has been voted as 2022-23 MLIS Most Valuable Player.

Lira led MLIS in points (52) and goals (30), was second in game-winning goals (3), and third in assists (22). In 11 games, Lira was named 1st Star of the game seven times, and 2nd Star three times. Lira scored in all 11 games he played, notching four four-goal games among six hat tricks. Lira scored or assisted on over 45% of Omaha's goals this season.

"Soccer has been a constant in my life, lifting me up through good and bad times," Lira said. "Winning the MVP award is a great honor that recognizes my passion and dedication for the sport. I am grateful for the opportunity to keep playing the game that I love."

The 30-year old is a native of Guadalajara, Mexico, and attended Omaha South High School and played soccer for Bellevue University, where he was a two-time First Team All-MCAC. Last season he was named to the All-MASL2 Third Team as a new member of the Kings.

“Last year I had the privilege of having the opportunity to add Manuel Lira to the team," said Kings Head Coach Emmanuel Viel, who was named MLIS Coach of the Year earlier in the day. "Lira is a player that comes from humble roots and continuously gives you his all no matter the circumstances. He has been a local star in the Omaha community, and it’s been amazing to watch him grow into the player he is today. Lira seamlessly stepped into a leadership role this year for our organization, and I don’t know anyone more deserving of the League MVP award than him. He has displayed unwavering integrity and commitment since Day One, as well as complete respect towards the coaching staff and everyone around him. It’s time he is recognized outside of our community, and we’re incredibly proud to have a player with such attributes representing the Omaha Kings FC.”

"On behalf of MLIS I'd like to congratulate Manuel Lira on a fantastic season," said MLIS Commissioner Dominic Turcotte. "Any time Lira is on the field you know something exciting is about to happen."

Cleveland Crunch forward Admir Suljevic was second in voting.