MLS NEXT Pro Player of Matchday 26: Ronald Arevalo

Ronald Arevalo

The race for a playoff spot continues for NYCFC II, and Friday's 5-2 win over Crew 2 provided plenty of confidence in a tight Eastern Conference battle for playoff spots.

NYCFC II forward Ronald Arevalo helped his team turn a positive first half into a rout, with two goals to finish off a five-goal first half. NYCFC II have now won back-to-back games at a crucial period in the 2023 season. Arevalo earned MLS NEXT Pro Player of Matchday 26 honors with his performance.

NYCFC II started the match hot with goals from Jonathan Jimenez, Jonathan Shore, and Matthew "MD" Myers giving them a 3-0 lead by the 30th minute.

Arevalo got in on the action in the 32nd minute in an incredible way. He received the ball in NYCFC II's own half and spotted the Crew 2 goalkeeper off his line. Arevalo launched a well-placed ball toward goal, and it rolled into the back of the net.

Arevalo followed that up with a strong finish into the top right corner of the goal as he ran onto a loose ball in the box in the first minute of first-half stoppage time.

The 20-year-old raised his goal total to five in the 2023 season. He has also supplied four assists across 1,043 minutes on the field. Arevalo is blossoming in the NYCFC II squad after playing only 49 minutes in 2022.

Arevalo, an El Salvador international who was born in North Bergen, New Jersey, started his career in the United States and had short stints playing in Denmark and Finland before signing with NYCFC II. He earned his first callup with the El Salvador senior national team in November 2021.