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 Real Salt Lake

Diego Luna Named to Team of the Matchday

May 16, 2024 - Major League Soccer (MLS)
Real Salt Lake News Release

For a fifth consecutive matchday, Real Salt Lake again sees at least one player - this time, MF Diego Luna - selected to Major League Soccer's "Team of the Matchday" for Matchday 14 of the 2024 season, following his game-winning assist and insurance goal in Wednesday's 2-0 home win over the Seattle Sounders.

Midway through the first half, Luna helped the RSL defense dig out of its own end and sprint 60 yards with the ball on the counter, laying off a pass to newcomer Matt Crooks, who ultimately found a streaking Andrés Gómez, who cut back and beat Sounders' keeper Stefan Frei for his fifth goals of the year.

Halfway through the second 45, Luna was the beneficiary of a Brayan Vera 40-yard line-breaking run through midfield, the centerback then finding Luna onside 25 yards from goal, with the 20-year-old Olympic hopeful cutting inside and firing a low laser to put the home side up 2-0. The goal was Luna's second of the season, to go with his six assists in 2024.

RSL returns home Saturday for an important Rocky Mountain Cup contest against the rival Rapids, the Club's third of just four home games played from mid-April to late June. RSL brings a 4-1-1 (W-L-T) mark at America First Field into Saturday, looking to extend its active unbeaten run to 10 games, the Claret and Cobalt not losing since a March 9 home date against Colorado, which could secure just its fifth Rocky Mountain Cup in 20 years with a win Saturday. The Rapids' March 9 win on Utah soil was its first since 2020, and the first with fans in the building since 2007.

RSL's current slate sees eight of 12 matches away from home from April 20 to June 19 as a very busy May includes six MLS matches - two midweek - prior to a two-game road trip May 25-29 at Dallas and Seattle.

Recent weeks have seen RSL place DF Bryan Vera (Matchday 12), Alex Katranis (Matchday 10 and 11) and Captain Chicho Arango (Matchday 10) honored for their stellar performances, while RSL has also previously seen both Andrés Gómez (Matchday 3) and teenage attacker Fidel Barajas (Matchday 5) honored in the League's weekly selection; Gómez following his two-goal, one-assist March 2 home performance in a 3-0 win against LAFC, and Barajas for his March 23 efforts at Vancouver, assisting on both goals in a 2-1 comeback win.

Named to the MLS Team of the Matchday bench on Monday, Colombian RSL Captain Arango is an oft-mentioned early-season MLS MVP candidate, one who has now amassed 18 goal contributions on RSL's 22 goals this season. Arango's career totals include 110 goals as a professional, including 54 goals in 88 games across all competitions since arriving in MLS for LAFC and RSL. Since appearing on the Wasatch Front last July, Chicho boasts 19 goals and nine assists in 31 MLS appearances for the Claret-and-Cobalt, with those numbers increasing to 21 goals and 11 assists in 36 RSL games across all competitions (incl. Leagues Cup, Open Cup, Playoffs).

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