Real Salt Lake Forward Cristian Arango Voted MLS Player of the Matchday for Matchday 7

Major League Soccer

April 1, 2024 – Major League Soccer (MLS) News Release

NEW YORK – Real Salt Lake forward Cristian Arango was voted the Major League Soccer Player of the Matchday for Matchday 7 of the 2024 MLS season.

Arango recorded his second MLS career hat trick, scoring all three goals in the club’s comeback 3-1 victory over St. Louis CITY SC on Saturday, March 30 (Watch Highlights from His Performance Here ). With his three-goal performance, Arango became the first Salt Lake player to produce a hat trick since Damir Kreilach scored three times against the LA Galaxy on September 1, 2018, and just the fifth player in club history to do so. Among active players with at least 40 goals scored, 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. Since joining Salt Lake in the summer of 2023, the Colombian forward has scored 11 times and added six assists in only 17 appearances.

After falling behind in the third minute, Salt Lake equalized when Arango received the ball at the top of the 18-yard-box, made a quick turn, and lasered a shot to tie the match in the 70th minute (Watch Here). Arango gave the home side the lead 14 minutes later as he stutter-stepped his approach to a penalty kick, which sent the St. Louis goalkeeper the wrong way for him to pass his finish into the open net (Watch Here ). Arango sealed all three points in extra time as midfielder Diego Luna drove at the St. Louis defense and laid off a pass for the Colombian to slot home and complete his hat trick (Watch Here).

Arango becomes the first Salt Lake player to be named MLS Player of the Matchday since Luna earned the honor on Matchday 26 of the 2023 season. This also marks the third different time that Arango has won the award after doing so for his performances on Matchdays 24 and 31 of the 2021 season.

Salt Lake will look to make it three-straight victories and potentially move atop the Western Conference standings when they travel to face Minnesota United FC at Allianz Stadium on Saturday, April 6 (8:30 p.m. ET, MLS Season Pass on Apple TV).

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…

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