Player of the Matchday

Real Salt Lake's Diego Luna named Player of the Matchday


As Diego Luna heats up, so do Real Salt Lake.

The US youth international was named Player of the Matchday presented by Continental Tire for Matchday 26 of the 2023 MLS season, after scoring a brace in RSL’s 3-1 win over the New York Red Bulls Saturday at America First Field.

At 19 years and 311 days old, Luna became the youngest player in club history to register a multiple-goal effort after scoring the first two goals of the match. The result put the Claret-and-Cobalt in the No. 3 spot in the Western Conference (10W-7L-7D, 37 points) ahead of the MLS regular season break for Leagues Cup.

Coming off a solid performance for the United States during their run to the quarterfinals at the FIFA U-20 World Cup this spring, Luna has carried his form back to Real Salt Lake, who have extended their unbeaten run to nine games. The Northern California native is the only player aged 20 or younger to reach three goals and three assists this season. He is also only the second teenager to record a brace in 2023, along with Atlanta United’s Caleb Wiley.

Luna is the second Real Salt Lake player to receive Player of the Matchday honors in 2023, joining star attacker Damir Kreilach, who took the award in Matchday 20. It marks the first time RSL have had multiple players win the prize in a single season since 2014, back when Joao Plata, Nick Rimando (on two occasions) and Chris Schuler won the honors.

Sitting comfortably in third place in the Western Conference table, Real Salt Lake now turn their attention to Leagues Cup, where they are grouped with Seattle Sounders FC and Liga MX powerhouse Monterrey. RSL host the Sounders on Saturday (9:30 pm ET | MLS Season Pass) and then welcome Monterrey on Wednesday, July 26 (9:30 pm ET | MLS Season Pass) as they aim to move to the knockout rounds of the competition.

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.