MLS NEXT: Real Monarchs 15-year-old defender Nicholas Nobles shines in MLS NEXT Pro


Real Monarchs and Real Salt Lake academy defender Nicholas Nobles has been named MLS NEXT Rising Star of the Matchday for Matchday 3 of the 2023 MLS NEXT Pro season.

The 15-year-old US youth national defender keyed Real Monarchs' 1-0 victory over San Jose Earthquakes II, completing 82% of his passes and making a goal-line clearance in the 70th minute to prevent a would-be equalizer. Nobles drew the start as an injury replacement for Omar Alba after competing with the RSL Academy at the Generation adidas Cup in Bradenton, Florida.

Originally a product of the Chicago Fire FC youth academy, Nobles joined the Real Salt Lake academy in July 2022. This week's standout effort marked his second professional appearance after he made his team debut in Real Monarchs' season-opening match against Minnesota United 2 in Matchday 1.

At 15 years, nine months, 28 days old, Nobles is among the youngest players to feature for Real Monarchs this season, along with fellow homegrown defender Luis Rivera.