Matchday 8

MLS NEXT Pro Player of Matchday 8: Damian Rivera

Damian Rivera

New England Revolution II rose up the standings with three points Sunday, reaching third in the Eastern Conference after a thrilling comeback win over TFC 2.

Revs II's hero of the night was Damian Rivera, who is this week's Player of Matchday 8. Rivera had two goals in two minutes — striking in the 85th and 86th minutes — to hand Revs II a late lead.

Rivera took four shots with two on goal, and added one key pass and a strong defensive effort with three tackles.

Six goals on the 2023 season for Rivera puts him tied for second in the Golden Boot race.

Rivera, a dual-national who was born in the United States, obtained his Costa Rican passport recently, with an aim at playing for Los Ticos internationally. Rivera was signed by the Revolution as a Homegrown player in 2019 after coming through the club's academy.

Rivera's excellent MLS NEXT Pro form comes after a breakout 2022 season, in which he scored his first first-team goal and made four starts in MLS. He made his first-team debut in April 2021 at 18 years old.

Through his years of development in the Revs' academy, Rivera has been called up by the United States U-14, U-16, U-17 and U-19 teams.