Player of the Matchday

Real Salt Lake's Damir Kreilach named Week 35 MLS Player of the Week 

A Decision Day moment for the ages has earned Real Salt Lake attacker Damir Kreilach Week 35’s MLS Player of the Week honors.

Kreilach scored a 95th-minute goal in a 1-0 win at Sporting Kansas City, pouncing on teammate Justin Meram’s bicycle kick to finish past goalkeeper Tim Melia.

The dramatics were evident in the Audi 2021 MLS Cup Playoffs race, with Kreilach’s tally pushing RSL into the Western Conference’s No. 7 seed. Just as consequentially, it bumped the LA Galaxy down to the No. 8 spot after their 3-3 draw against Minnesota United FC – with the wins tiebreaker (RSL’s 14 to LA’s 13) being the difference.

It’s the latest highlight-reel moment for Kreilach’s remarkable year, which includes 16 goals and nine assists across 33 games (32 starts). He’s among MLS’ most versatile players and has been one of the Claret & Cobalt’s most important pieces since his 2018 arrival. 

The 32-year-old Croatian and RSL will now travel to face the West’s No. 2 seed, Seattle Sounders FC, during Round One of the playoffs. Perhaps more Kreilach heroics await? He boasts four goals and one assist across five career postseason games.

The MLS Player of the Week 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 the vote. NASR consists of members of print, television, radio and online media.