NEW YORK (Monday, May 29, 2023) – Philadelphia Union forward Julián Carranza was voted the Major League Soccer Player of the Matchday presented by Continental Tire for Matchday 15 of the 2023 MLS season.
Carranza scored the opening two goals for the Union in the club’s 3-1 victory over NYCFC on Saturday, May 27. Carranza, who has four goals in his last four matches, recorded his first multi-goal match of the 2023 season with a brace against NYCFC and now has 21 goals and 12 assists since the start of the 2022 season. Carranza is one of just four MLS players with at least 20 goals and 10 assists since the beginning of 2022, joining 2022 MLS Landon Donovan MVP Hany Mukhtar (32 goals, 18 assists), Brandon Vázquez (21 goals, 10 assists), and teammate Dániel Gazdag (29 goals, 17 assists).
NYCFC opened the scoring in the 30th minute behind a Gabriel Pereira goal, but Carranza and Philadelphia quickly responded with two goals in first-half extra time. In the first minute of extra time, Carranza snuck behind a pair of NYCFC defenders on a beautifully played ball from midfield by Jack Elliott, took one touch inside and fired a low liner past the goalkeeper to draw the score even. Two minutes later, the Union capitalized on a quick transition, as José Martínez played a long ball that was gathered by Mikael Uhre on the left side of the 18-yard box, and Uhre found a streaking Carranza inside the box who drove home his second score of the match.
Joining Carranza in the scoring for Philadelphia was Gazdag, who converted a penalty kick in the 53rd minute to give the Union a 3-1 lead. Saturday night marked the 11th time since the start of the 2022 season – and the second consecutive match – that Carranza and Gazdag have scored in the same game, the most in MLS over the span. The next-closest pairing also resides in Philadelphia (seven, Gazdag and Uhre).
Carranza is the second Union player to win MLS Player of the Matchday presented by Continental Tire in 2023, joining Mikael Uhre (Matchday 9). This is the third Player of the Matchday honors for Carranza since the start of the 2022 season (Matchdays 19 and 26 of 2022), which is tied for the second-most in MLS over the span behind only Hany Mukhtar (four). Additionally, the Union have won five Player of the Matchday accolades since the beginning of last season – the most in MLS over the span (Carranza (3), Gazdag (1), Uhre (1)).
Philadelphia returns to action on Wednesday, May 31, as the club welcomes Charlotte FC to Subaru Park (7:30 p.m. ET, MLS Season Pass) in the first of two matches this week.
The MLS Player of the Matchday presented by Continental Tire 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 a Twitter fan vote represents the remaining 25 percent of voting. NASR consists of members of print, television, radio, and online media.
Los Angeles Football Club
Los Angeles Football Club