Player of the Matchday

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


Real Salt Lake striker Cristian Arango has been named Player of the Matchday for the third time in 2024.

The Colombian star's latest honor follows a 5-1 rout of Austin FC in Matchday 18, in which he contributed 3g/1a. Arango now sits first in the Golden Boot presented by Audi race with 16g/9a on the year.

Arango capped his hat trick with a header and penalty kick, after beginning it with an AT&T Goal of the Year contender. He first uncorked a long-range blast from 62.7 yards away, evading the backpedaling Brad Stuver.

In the process, Arango tied Seattle Sounders FC's Raúl Ruidíaz as the second-fastest active player to reach 50 career MLS goals. He's also now tied for the fifth-fastest player to reach 15 goals in a single MLS season, accomplished during his 17th game of 2024.

Arango joins Jeff Cunningham (four times in 2007) as the only players in RSL history to win at least three Player of the Matchday honors in the same season. This year, he previously won the honor following Matchday 7 and Matchday 10.

RSL's unbeaten run now sits at 13 matches, the second-longest single-season streak in club history. When the Western Conference leaders return to action on June 15 at CF Montréal (7:30 pm ET | MLS Season Pass), they will look to tie RSL's club record of 14 unbeaten matches. That clash follows the June international window.

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.