Matchday 21 brought several exciting developments, including the first time in MLS NEXT Pro history in which multiple hat tricks were scored in the same matchday.
One of the most impressive hat tricks broke another record. Braudilio Rodrigues' hat trick in the space of 26 minutes goes down as the fastest hat trick in MLS NEXT Pro history. Rodrigues scored all three Tacoma Defiance goals in Wednesday's 3-1 win over Sporting Kansas City II.
Rodrigues also became the third player in Defiance history to score a hat trick.
Rodrigues opened scoring with an incredible shot that rifled into the top left corner in the 30th minute.
Travian Sousa put in a well-placed cross that Rodrigues ran onto for a simple finish at the far post. Defiance found a 2-0 lead less than one minute into the second half.
To complete the hat trick, Rodrigues found space after taking a deft touch in the air past a defender. He made no mistake in finishing past the goalkeeper to find his
The 23-year-old Bissau-Guinean striker is enjoying a fantastic first season with Tacoma Defiance. His 10 goals leads the team in scoring, and he's played 1,671 minutes in 2023.
Rodrigues grew up in Portugal before coming stateside to play college soccer at Franklin Pierce University, where he amassed 31 goals and 25 assists in 45 career matches. He won a Division II national championship with Franklin Pierce in 2022, and won the Ron Lenz National Player of the Year award, which names the top Division II men's soccer player.