Player of the Matchday

Real Salt Lake's Cristian Arango named Player of the Matchday 


Cristian Arango has claimed MLS Player of the Matchday honors for Matchday 7 after powering Real Salt Lake to a 3-1 comeback victory over St. Louis CITY SC behind his second league hat trick.

The Colombian international struck three times within 21 minutes in the second half to cancel out Indiana Vassilev's 3rd-minute opener, helping RSL win their second straight game and climb into third place in the Western Conference with a 3W-2L-1D record (10 points).

Arango, who joined Salt Lake last summer from Liga MX's Pachuca, is now a three-time Player of the Matchday recipient (he previously won in Matchdays 24 and 31 of the 2021 season with former club LAFC) and becomes Salt Lake's first winner since Diego Luna in Matchday 26 of the 2023 season. He's also the club's first player to record a hat trick since Damir Kreilach in 2018.

Among active MLS players with at least 40 goals, Arango ranks second in goals per game (0.60), behind only Josef Martínez, and is the only active player to have scored at least five goals in each of the past four seasons.

Arango and RSL visit Western Conference rivals Minnesota United FC on Saturday night for Matchday 8 (8:30 pm ET | MLS Season Pass).

The MLS Player of the Matchday 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 an X (formerly known as Twitter) fan vote represents the remaining 25 percent of voting. NASR consists of members of print, television, radio, and online media.