NEW YORK (Thursday, May 18, 2023) – Charlotte FC midfielder Brandon Cambridge was voted the Major League Soccer Player of the Matchday presented by Continental Tire for Matchday 13 of the 2023 MLS season.
Cambridge produced his first two career MLS goals, including the game-winning goal, after coming off the bench in the club’s 2-1 victory against Chicago Fire FC on Wednesday, May 17 (Watch Highlights From His Performance Here ). In just his fourth MLS appearance, Cambridge entered the game as a substitute in the 59th minute and scored both the game-tying and game-winning goals for Charlotte. By doing so, he became the third player in league history to score a game-tying and game-winning goal as a substitute within his first four appearances. The last player to do this was the LA Galaxy’s Zlatan Ibrahimović in El Tráfico on March 31, 2018. With his brace, the former Portland Pilot standout became the second-youngest player (21 years, 97 days) in MLS this season to produce a multi-goal game, behind only Atlanta United’s Caleb Wiley (18 years, 79 days).
After falling behind 1-0, Cambridge entered the match in the 59th minute and scored the equalizer eight minutes later. Charlotte forward Justin Meram received a pass from just outside the 18-yard-box and found Cambridge, who opened up his body and fired a perfect curling effort past the diving Chicago goalkeeper (Watch Here). He then scored the game winner in the 81st minute after a deflected cross fell to him at the back post, which he calmly controlled and passed a left-footed effort into the bottom corner of the net ( Watch Here).
The 21-year-old became the youngest player in Charlotte FC to score multiple goals in a match and the first to do so as a substitute. He is also only the sixth player in club history to record a brace in a regular season match. Thanks to Cambridge’s performance, Charlotte also extended their home unbeaten run to five games, which is the longest in club history.
Cambridge is the third Charlotte player to win MLS Player of the Matchday presented by Continental Tire, and the first since Daniel Ríos did so on Matchday 33 in 2022. At 21 years and 97 days old, Cambridge is the second-youngest player to earn the honor in 2023 with only Atlanta’s Caleb Wiley younger than him. Since entering the league in 2022, Charlotte FC joins Inter Miami CF and the Philadelphia Union as the only clubs to have three different players win the award. Cambridge is the first player in league history to be named both MLS Player of the Matchday presented by Continental Tire and MLS NEXT Pro Player of the Matchday, which he earned for Matchday 2 with Crown Legacy FC.
Charlotte will look to extend their unbeaten home run when they host Nashville SC in a Rivalry Week matchup at Bank of America Stadium on Matchday 14 on Saturday, May 20 (7:30 p.m. ET, MLS Season Pass).
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.
2023 MLS Player of the Matchday
presented by Continental Tire Winners
Seattle Sounders FC
Vancouver Whitecaps FC
Los Angeles Football Club
Los Angeles Football Club
Inter Miami CF