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

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NEW YORK (Monday, February 26, 2024) – D.C. United forward Christian Benteke was voted the Major League Soccer Player of the Matchday for the opening week of the 2024 MLS season.

Benteke scored all three of the club’s goals as part of the 3-1 season-opening home victory over the New England Revolution on Saturday, February 24 (Watch Highlights from His Performance Here). With his hat trick, Benteke became just the sixth player in MLS history to score at least three goals in a season-opening match and the first since Carlos Vela did so in 2022. The Belgian forward has now scored 17 times in the regular season since the start of 2023, which is tied for the second-most goals behind only LAFC’s Dénis Bouanga (20). In his last four appearances, dating back to September 23, 2023, Benteke has scored seven goals, including two hat tricks. D.C.’s victory was their fourth-straight season-opening win, establishing a new club record.

Benteke opened the scoring in the 34th minute when he leapt to meet Pedro Santos’ cross and headed the ball narrowly over the goal line before the Revolution goalkeeper could deny it (Watch Here). After the Revolution equalized in the second half, D.C. regained the lead in the 72nd minute through Benteke again as Conner Antley flicked on a header towards a diving Benteke who poked the ball into the net for a 2-1 advantage (Watch Here). The forward completed his hat trick in second-half stoppage time with his second headed goal, connecting with Aaron Herrera’s cross just before the Revolution goalkeeper could clear it to secure all three points for D.C. (Watch Here).

Benteke becomes just the third D.C. United player since the start of 2020 to be named MLS Player of the Matchday and the first to win the inaugural award of the season since Jaime Moreno in 2004. Benteke also joins Roland Lamah (2017, Matchday 14) as the only Belgian internationals to be named MLS Player of the Matchday.

D.C. United looks to win the opening two games of a season for the first time since 2022 when they travel to face the Portland Timbers at Providence Park on Saturday, March 2 (10:30 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.