Nashville SC’s Randall Leal was named MLS Player of Matchday 22 for his performance in a 2-0 win over DC United. The former Designated Player scored both of Nashville’s goals to give Coyotes a much-needed win at home.
From the MLS release:
Leal scored both goals in the club’s 2-0 home victory over D.C. United at GEODIS PARK on Saturday, July 1. Leal’s brace was the second of his career after also scoring twice against FC Cincinnati on October 27, 2021. With his performance, he joined Hany Mukhtar (14) and CJ Sapong (three) as the only players in club history with at least two multi-goal games. Leal has now produced 16 goals and 20 assists in his Nashville SC career. Nashville has now won six consecutive games at home for the first time in club history, and it is currently the longest active home winning streak in MLS.
Nashville opened the scoring in the 18th minute when Mukhtar played a lofted pass to Leal, who darted behind the D.C. defense, poked the ball around the oncoming goalkeeper, and passed the ball into the open net (Watch Here). The Costa Rican added his second goal of the match in the 37th minute after evading two D.C. defenders and firing a thunderous effort past the goalkeeper to give the home side a 2-0 advantage (Watch Here).
Leal becomes the second player in club history to be named MLS Player of the Matchday presented by Continental Tire, joining Hany Mukhtar (eight times). Leal is also the first Costa Rican player to win the award since Real Salt Lake’s Álvaro Saborío in 2013 (Matchday 22).
Shaq Moore was also included on the Team of the Matchday bench. The defender contributed to Nashville’s seventh clean sheet of the season, the first time in nine matches that the Coyotes held their opponent off the scoresheet.
Nashville SC 2023 Team of the Matchday selections
Randall Leal: Matchday 22
Dan Lovitz: Matchday 15
Lukas MacNaughton: Matchday 13
Dax McCarty: Matchday 19 (bench)
Shaq Moore: Matchday 19, Matchday 22 (bench)
Hany Mukhtar: Matchday 6, Matchday 10, Matchday 11, Matchday 14, Matchday 15, Matchday 17, Matchday 19
Jacob Shaffelburg: Matchday 1 (bench), Matchday 3 (bench), Matchday 19 (bench)
Walker Zimmerman: Matchday 1, Matchday 6, Matchday 10