NEW YORK (Monday, October 3, 2022) – Charlotte FC forward Daniel Ríos was voted the Major League Soccer Player of the Week presented by Continental Tire for the 33rd week of the 2022 MLS season.
Ríos scored all four goals as part of the club’s 4-0 victory over the Philadelphia Union on Saturday, October 1 (Watch Highlights from His Performance Here). Ríos became the first player in Charlotte FC history to score at least three goals in a game and he joined Valentín ‘Taty’ Castellanos (April 17) as the only players to score four goals in a match this season. He is also the 13th different player in MLS history to score at least four goals in a single game. Ríos’ four-goal performance was the first by a player on an expansion team in their inaugural season in MLS history.
With the game scoreless in the 24th minute, Ríos opened the scoring after Kamil Józwiak played a low cross into the six-yard box, which Ríos easily slotted into the back of the net (Watch Here). In the 54th minute, Józwiak and Ríos connected again as Józwiak picked up the loose ball in the box and found the Mexican forward, who dribbled past one defender and placed a strike past multiple Philadelphia players for his second goal of the match (Watch Here). Ríos completed his hat trick from the penalty spot in the 72nd minute with a perfectly taken penalty kick that he nestled into the side netting, which gave the goalkeeper no chance (Watch Here). He finished off Charlotte’s 4-0 win in the 91st minute as McKinze Gaines hit a terrific driven cross into Ríos’ path, who provided the necessary final touch into the open net (Watch Here).
Ríos has now scored six goals on the season, which is the second most by a Charlotte FC player (Karol Świderski, 10). With their win over Philadelphia, Charlotte become the third expansion team since 2005 to win double-digit games at home in their first season (Atlanta United FC in 2017 and CF Montréal in 2012). The Crown are just the third expansion team, excluding the shootout era, to win at least 13 games in their inaugural season (Atlanta United FC and LAFC). Additionally, Charlotte now has 41 points (13-17-2), which is the most by an expansion team since LAFC’s 57 in 2018.
Ríos is the second Charlotte FC player to win MLS Player of the Week presented by Continental Tire in as many weeks, joining Karol Świderski in Week 32. Charlotte joins Seattle Sounders FC in 2009 (Fredy Montero and Kasey Keller, Weeks 1-2) as the only expansion teams since 2005 to have different players earn MLS Player of the Week honors in consecutive weeks. The Philadelphia Union are the only other team to accomplish this in 2022 (Julián Carranza and Dániel Gazdag, Weeks 26-27).
Charlotte will look to keep their Audi 2022 MLS Cup Playoff hopes alive when they host the Columbus Crew in a recommenced match at Bank of America Stadium on Wednesday, October 5 (5:30 p.m. ET, MLS LIVE on ESPN+). The game was suspended in the 16th minute on Saturday, July 30 due to severe weather and will recommence with the same players on the field and substitutes available as when the match was initially postponed. For more information on MLS’ postponement policy: 2022 MLS Match Delay, Postponement, Cancellation and Forfeiture Policy.
The MLS Player of the Week presented by Continental Tire is selected each week of the regular season through both media and fan voting in a process conducted by MLS Communications. A panel of journalists from the North American Soccer Reporters (NASR) comprises 75 percent of the vote, while a Twitter fan vote represents the remaining 25 percent of voting. NASR consists of members of print, television, radio, and online media.