For the third time in the 2023 MLS season, a Nashville SC player has been named MLS Player of the Matchday presented by Continental Tire.
The 26-year-old Costa Rican international scored both goals in the club’s 2-0 victory over D.C. United at GEODIS PARK last Saturday, marking the second brace of his MLS career. Leal’s first strike involved rounding onrushing goalkeeper Tyler Miller, and his second required evading several D.C. defenders before unleashing a thunderous effort.
Leal is the second player in Nashville history to be named Player of the Matchday, joining Mukhtar (eight times). He is also the first Costa Rican player to win the award since Real Salt Lake striker Álvaro Saborío in 2013 (Matchday 22).
Leal, who now has 16 goals and 20 assists in 89 career Nashville matches, powered his side to six consecutive wins at home for the first time in club history. The Boys in Gold also sit second in the Eastern Conference table, six points off the Supporters’ Shield pace set by FC Cincinnati.
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.