NEW YORK (Thursday, September 21, 2023) – LA Galaxy forward Billy Sharp was voted the Major League Soccer Player of the Matchday presented by Continental Tire for Matchday 33 of the 2023 MLS season.
Sharp recorded his first career hat trick in the LA Galaxy’s dramatic 4-3 comeback victory over Minnesota United FC at Dignity Health Sports Park on Wednesday, September 20. Sharp scored his hat trick in his second career start with the Galaxy, becoming just the fourth player in league history to score three goals in one of their first two starts, along with Josef Martínez, Didier Drogba, and Musa Shannon. The former Sheffield United legend also became the fastest player in club history to six career goals, doing so in just 230 minutes over a span of six appearances. Sharp is the first Galaxy player to score a hat trick since Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernández on April 25, 2021.
Sharp opened the scoring in the 16th minute of the match as he pounced on Riqui Puig’s blocked shot and volleyed home a finish from close range to give the Galaxy a 1-0 lead (Watch Here). After the Galaxy conceded the next three goals in the match, Sharp cut the deficit to 3-2 in the 63rd minute when he poked home a header from Maya Yoshida off a corner kick (Watch Here). The Englishman completed his hat trick in the 71st minute as a bouncing ball fell to him in the box, which he then passed into the open netting to make it 3-3 (Watch Here). Just eight minutes from time, the Galaxy completed their comeback as Diego Fagúndez scored his first goal for the club to wrap up all three points (Watch Here).
Sharp becomes the second LA Galaxy player to be named MLS Player of the Matchday presented by Continental Tire in 2023, joining Riqui Puig (Matchday 23). Sharp is the first English player to earn Player of the Matchday honors since Jonathan Bond also did so for the Galaxy on Matchday 7 of 2021.
The Galaxy will look to record consecutive wins when they travel to face Austin FC at Q2 Stadium on Matchday 34 on Sunday, September 24 (9:30 p.m. ET, MLS Season Pass / FS1).
The MLS Player of the Matchday presented by Continental Tire is selected each matchday 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.