Damir Kreilach Awarded Major League Soccer Player Of The Week Award
SALT LAKE CITY – Real Salt Lake midfielder/forward Damir Kreilach has been named the MLS Player of the week for the second time this season. He is the only Real Salt Lake player to have been awarded the award this season.
Kreilach scored in the 95th minute to send Real Salt Lake to the MLS Playoffs with essentially the final kick of the regular season. Prior to the match, Real Salt Lake was required to win if they intended on playing in the post-season. They did not need any other team’s help. It was a win and you’re in scenario.
The match was level 0-0 in stoppage time, Aaron Herrera whipped in a cross that was punched by Sporting Kansas City goalkeeper Tim Melia and fell to the feet of Everton Luiz who attempted to strike the ball on the volley. Luiz did not make great contact with his attempted shot and the ball bounced to Justin Meram who attempted a bicycle kick, but much like Luiz, did not make great contact and the ball fell to Kreilach at the top of the six-yard box. Kreilach stuck his right foot out and the ball flew into the back of the net.
Real Salt Lake burst into pandemonium. With the final kick of the 2021 MLS regular season, Real Salt Lake qualified for the playoffs and eliminated the LA Galaxy in the process.
Kreilach has had a special season in the Real Salt Lake kit. He leads the team in goals with 16 and was only three goals shy from securing the MLS Golden Boot award. He was also selected as an All-Star earlier in the season, becoming the first Real Salt Lake All-Star since Nick Rimando was selected by MLS Commissioner Don Garber as a commissioner’s pick during his final season in 2019.
Real Salt Lake will now play the Seattle Sounders in the first round of the playoffs. The date and time of the fixture are yet to be announced. MLS will endure a two-week break before the start of the playoffs due to a FIFA international window.