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Diego Luna and Alex Katranis Named to Team of the Matchday


Monday, July 8, 2024) – For the 11th time this season, first-place Real Salt Lake places at least one player – this week, two players, as both playmaker **Diego Luna** and left wingback **Alex Katranis** are honored - onto Major League Soccer’s Team of the Matchday, with the young American Luna and the 25-year-old Greek defender honored in the fictional XI following Saturday night’s home demolition of Atlanta, the 5-2 scoreline representing the third five-goal RSL performance in its last nine matches.


First-place RSL has dropped just one of its last 18 matches, posting 11 wins and six draws against just one loss.

On the day that Luna’s Olympic dream was publicly rejected, the 20-year-old scored one goal and added three assists to lead the Claret-and-Cobalt. Luna set up **Matt Crooks** for his second goal of the year - his first at home - just 43 seconds into the match, before a 25-minute period in the second stanza that saw Luna provide assists for both Captain Chicho Arango - on his game-winning header - and the one-time Alex Katranis bomb from outside the area, before scoring one of his own late to send the standing-room only crowd in Sandy into ecstasy.

Luna's massive night - on the heels of his MLS Goal of the Matchday honor from Wednesday in the 3-2 home win over Houston - gives him five goals and 12 assists on the season, catapulting him into third amongst the MLS assist leaders, joining defending MVP Lucho Acosta (17 for Cincinnati), world soccer luminary Lionel Messi (13 for Miami), as well as teammate Arango (11), who is tied with Portland icon Evander (also 11 assists).

Katranis' long-range goal was his third of the season, also scoring March 23 at Vancouver and April 20 at Philadelphia, both scintillating game-winners. Saturday's goal was a hybrid of those two, blending a curling, seeing-eye effort with pace and power, setting the Riot alight for RSL's fourth goal. Katranis' tireless efforts making dozens of 90-yard sprints each game has not gone unnoticed, as he critically adds dimension to the attack while also managing the opposing right wingers.

While not recognized in this week’s “Team of the Matchday” honors, RSL Captain Chicho Arango scored to equal Utah soccer legend Alvaro Saborio's single-season Golden Boot mark for the Club, with 17 goals in 22 games.

Chicho also extended his MLS goal contribution lead to 28 with the goal, now amassing 17 goals and 11 assists this season, previously becoming the third player in RSL history with a 10g/10a campaign (Jeff Cunningham, 2006; Albert Rusnák, 2021).

With both Chicho (17 goals) and Gómez (11 goals) securing double-digit goal totals this season, RSL has a pair of 10+ scorers in a single season for the first time since 2021 (Kreilach, 16 goals; Rusnák, 11 goals). Should Julio (six goals) or Luna (five goals) or another player reach double-digits, RSL would have a 10+ goal-scoring trio for the first time ever.

RSL is off until Saturday, when Head Coach Pablo Mastroeni’s men travel to Portland to kick off a three-game Western Conference road gauntlet, also facing LAFC away on July 17 and finishing the trip with the Rocky Mountain Cup at stake on Sat., July 20, in suburban Denver. RSL embarks on the pre-All-Star jaunt hving secured 10 straight road results, last losing away on Feb. 21 in the MLS 2024 season opener at Miami. Overall this season, RSL boasts a 4-1-6 / 18-point road record, the best in the West and trailing only Miami & Cincinnati in the Eastern Conference.

First-place RSL (12-3-7, 43 points, t-1st West) has returned its Riot home to a veritable fortress this season, posting an 8-2-1 / 25-point mark on Utah soil in 2024, with the lone home losses coming on March 9 against Colorado and June 22 against LA Galaxy. RAL have sold out five consecutive contests in Sandy and seven of 11 this season, with tickets still available at for the upcoming Leagues Cup contest against Atlas on August 1, as well as six of its nine remaining post-All-Star MLS reg. season games starting on August 24 through mid-October's "Decision Day."