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RSL Captain Chicho Arango Named Player of the Matchday for Matchday 18


HERRIMAN, Utah / NEW YORK (Monday, June 3, 2024) – Real Salt Lake Captain Chicho Arango was voted the Major League Soccer Player of the Matchday for Matchday 18 of the 2024 MLS season. This is the third time Arango has been named MLS Player of the Matchday in 2024, joining former RSL man Jeff Cunningham (four times in 2006) as the only players in Club history to win at least three Player of the Matchday honors in the same season. Since the start of 2021, Arango joins Nashville SC’s Hany Mukhtar (seven) as the only players to win the award at least five different times overthat span.

On Saturday at America First Field, Chicho scored his second hat trick of the season (also the third of his 79-game MLS career) and added one assist, propelling Salt Lake to a convincing 5-1 victory over Austin FC (Watch Highlights From His Performance Below). The Colombian attacker now leads MLS with 16 goals this season, eclipsing 15 goals in his 17thcontest of the campaign, matching the fifth-fastest player to reach 15 goals in MLS history, 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.

Chicho – who has scored or assisted in 12 of first-place RSL’s 17 games this year – opened Saturday’s scoring in RSL’s four-goal first half with an audacious strike from 62.7 yards away, his 50th regular-season goal in his 79th career game, tying Seattle’s Raúl Ruidíaz as the second-fastest active player to reach 50 career goals. Only Josef Martínez (54 games) did so in fewer games.

Chicho’s 25 goal contributions this season – 16 goals plus nine assists – matches Miami’s Lionel Messi for the 2024 MLS lead in scoresheet appearances.

The dominant home victory improved RSL to 6-1-1 / 19 points at the RioT in 2024, while extending RSL’s unbeaten streak to 13 matches, the second-longest single-season streak in Club history. RSL next visits Montreal on Sat., June 15, looking to match the single-season Club record of 14, set from July 24 to Oct. 23, 2010. RSL does boast both 18-game (2010/11) and a 16-game (2013/14) unbeaten runs, with regular-season success crossing from one campaign into another.

Real Salt Lake currently sits on 33 points, tied for the second-most in MLS this season, while leading MLS with a plus-17 goal differential. At the midpoint of the 2024 campaign, the Claret-and-Cobalt are also the only team of the League’s 29 to score at least 30 goals and concede 20-or-fewer this season. Chicho-led RSL now enjoys a brief hiatus from League action for the upcomgin FIFA International Window, returning next week to travel to Quebec as it faces CF Montréal on Saturday, June 15 at Stade Saputo (5:30 p.m. MT, MLS Season Pass on Apple TV).


Chicho opened the scoring in sensational style in the 16th minute as he deftly noticed the Austin goalkeeper off his line and nonchalantly lasered his effort from 62.7 yards away into back of the net (Watch Here). After RSL doubled the advantage in the 24th minute, Arango added an assist in the 31st minute as he found 21-year-old FW Andrés Gómez, who played a perfect pass to Anderson Julio to tap in his finish for the 3-0 lead (Watch Here). 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 keeper to handle (Watch Here). The current MLS Golden Boot presented by Audi leader (16 goals in 17 reg. season games, plus nine assists) completed his hat trick in the 71st minute from the penalty spot, as Chicho sent the goalkeeper the wrong direction and placed his effort into the open net (Watch Here).

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 of voting. NASR consists of members of print, television, radio, and online media.