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Diego Luna Named Player of the Matchday for Matchday 25

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July 8, 2024 – MLS NEXT Pro (MLS NEXT Pro)
Real Monarchs News Release

NEW YORK / Herriman, Utah – Real Salt Lake playmaker Diego Luna was voted the Major League Soccer Player of the Matchday presented by Michelob Ultra for Matchday 25 of the 2024 MLS season.

Luna recorded three assists in a single game for the second time this season and scored the fifth goal in Real Salt Lake’s 5-2 home win over Atlanta United. This was just the fourth occasion in RSL’s 20-year, 636-game MLS history that a Claret-and-Cobalt player recorded three assists in a single MLS regular-season match, with Luna – who also accomplished the feat back on March 2 in a 3-0 “snow-pocalypse” win over visiting LAFC – the first player to record three assists in multiple matches in Club history. With his trio of assists Saturday, Luna moved into third overall amongst the current season assist leaders, trailing just defending MLS Landon Donovan MVP Lucho Acosta (17 assists for Cincinnati) and global icon Lionel Messi (13 assists for Miami). RSL teammate and Captain Chicho Arango ranks fourth with 11 assists in 2024, tied with this weekend’s Portland opponent, Evander.

Also, Luna has become the first player 20 years old or younger to produce at least 10 assists in a single MLS regular season since Talles Magno (10) did so for New York City FC in 2022.

Luna got things going early against Atlanta, whipping a cross into the box for an onrushing Matt Crooks to slot past the goalkeeper and open the scoring in the first minute of the match, the 43-second effort the fourth-fastest goal in RSL history and just the fifth to find the back of the net in a game’s first minute. The 20-year-old would then record two assists off set pieces, including the game-winning goal for RSL from a free kick to the head of Chicho in the 68th minute(Watch Here) and a short corner kick to fellow “Team of the Matchday” honoree Alex Katranis to make it 4-1 in the 78thminute. Luna scored his goal in the 84th minute, bringing down a cross with his chest and firing a low shot past the goalkeeper (Watch Below).

This is the second time in his young career that Luna has been named MLS Player of the Matchday after earning the honor after Matchday 26 in 2023, remaining the youngest winner since he won the award last season. An RSL player has now won the honor four times this season, with RSL Captain Chicho Arango earning the award three times (Matchdays 7, 10 and 18).

Salt Lake returns to action this Saturday, July 13 when…

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