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D.C. United Forward Christian Benteke Voted MLS Player of the Matchday for Matchday 13

May 13, 2024 - Major League Soccer (MLS)
D.C. United News Release

NEW YORK - D.C. United forward Christian Benteke was voted the Major League Soccer Player of the Matchday for Matchday 13 of the 2024 MLS season.

Benteke recorded his second hat trick of the season when he scored all three goals in D.C. United's 3-2 road win over Atlanta United (Watch Highlights From His Performance Here). All three of Benteke's goals were scored with his head and he now leads MLS with seven headed goals in 2024. The hat trick was Benteke's third in his last 13 games, dating back to September 23, 2023, and he became the fifth different player in MLS history to notch three hat tricks in a 13-game span. The other four to accomplish the feat are Josef Martínez in 2017, Mamadou Diallo in 2000-01, Diego Serna in 2000-01, and Cobi Jones in 1998. With 11 goals this season, which tied for the league lead with Inter Miami's Luis Suárez and Real Salt Lake's Chicho Arango, he became the eighth player in club history to record consecutive seasons with at least 10 goals and the first since Wayne Rooney in 2018-19.

After Atlanta opened the scoring, D.C. equalized in the 19th minute when Jared Stroud lofted a cross to Benteke, who thumped his header home. The visitors took the lead just before halftime in the 44th minute as a quick passing combination sprung Stroud, who had his first cross deflect back to him and then once again found Benteke to head in his second goal of the match. Atlanta tied the match in the second half, but the Belgian forward secured all three points in the 55th minute from a Mateusz Klich corner kick as he nodded a header off the post and into the net.

Benteke has won his second MLS Player of the Matchday honor this season after taking home the award for his hat trick performance on Matchday 1. Benteke is the first D.C. player to win multiple Player of the Matchday awards in the same season since Luciano Acosta and Wayne Rooney did so in 2018. The last D.C. United player to win multiple Player of the Matchdays in the first 13 awards to begin a season was Jaime Moreno (two) in 2006.

Benteke and D.C. can extend their three-game unbeaten run to four games when they host the New York Red Bulls on Wednesday, May 15 (7:30 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 of voting. NASR consists of members of print, television, radio, and online media.

2024 MLS Player of the Matchday Winners

Matchdays 1 and 2: Christian Benteke - D.C. United

Matchday 3: Luis Suárez - Inter Miami CF

Matchday 4: Giorgos Giakoumakis - Atlanta United FC

Matchday 5: Luis Suárez - Inter Miami CF

Matchday 6: Lewis Morgan - New York Red Bulls

Matchday 7: Cristian "Chicho" Arango - Real Salt Lake

Matchday 8: Raúl Ruidíaz - Seattle Sounders FC

Matchday 9: Lionel Messi - Inter Miami CF

Matchday 10: Cristian "Chicho" Arango - Real Salt Lake

Matchday 11: Lionel Messi - Inter Miami CF

Matchday 12: Lionel Messi - Inter Miami CF

Matchday 13: Christian Benteke - D.C. United

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