Real Salt Lake Forward Chicho Arango Voted MLS Player of the Matchday for Matchday 18

Major League Soccer

June 3, 2024 – Major League Soccer (MLS) News Release

NEW YORK – Real Salt Lake forward Chicho Arango was voted the Major League Soccer Player of the Matchday for Matchday 18 of the 2024 MLS season.

Arango scored his second hat trick of the season and also added an assist, propelling Salt Lake to a convincing 5-1 victory over Austin FC (Watch Highlights From His Performance Here). Arango now leads MLS with 16 goals this season and he eclipsed 15 goals in his 17th game of the season, tying for the fifth-fastest player to reach 15 goals in MLS history, and trailing only Josef Martínez (14 games in 2017), Carlos Vela (15 games in 2019), Mamadou Diallo (15 games in 2000), and Jaime Moreno (16 games in 1997). Diallo and Vela each won the MLS Golden Boot presented by Audi in their respective seasons.

Arango opened the scoring in the first half with a goal from 62.7 yards away, which was the 50th regular-season score for the Colombian striker in his 79th career game, tying Raúl Ruidíaz as the second-fastest active player to reach 50 career goals. Only Josef Martínez (54 games) did so in fewer games.

The victory extended RSL’s unbeaten streak to 13 matches, which is the second-longest single-season streak in club history, and they will enter their next match looking to tie the club record of 14, set from July 24 to Oct. 23, 2010. Salt Lake currently sit on 33 points, tied for the second-most in MLS this season, and they lead the league with a plus-17 goal differential. The Claret and Cobalt are also the only team to score at least 30 goals and concede 20-or-fewer in 2024.

Arango opened the scoring in sensational style in the 16th minute as he noticed the Austin goalkeeper off his line and placed his effort from 62.7 yards away into back of the net. After RSL doubled the advantage in the 24th minute, Arango added an assist in the 31st minute as he found 21-year-old forward Andrés Gómez, who played a perfect pass to Anderson Julio to tap in his finish for the 3-0 lead. In the final seconds before the halftime whistle, Arango scored his second goal of the match as his powerful header from an Andrew Brody cross was too much for the goalkeeper to handle. The current MLS Golden Boot presented by Audi leader completed his hat trick in the 71st minute from the penalty spot, as he sent the goalkeeper the wrong direction and placed his effort into the open net.

This is the third time Arango has been named MLS Player of the Matchday in 2024, joining Jeff…

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