Player of Matchday

MLS NEXT Pro Player of Matchday 9: Esmir Bajraktarevic


The first hat trick in New England Revolution II history belongs to 18-year-old Esmir Bajraktarevic, whose three goals helped Revs II complete an incredible comeback in Sunday's 4-3 win over Philadelphia Union II.

Bajraktarevic, a Homegrown signing by the Revs' first-team, is Matchday 9's Player of the Matchday. He finished off his hat trick by scoring from a tight angle in the first minute of stoppage time to win a back-and-forth match. Bajraktarevic brought his 2023 goal total to five goals across three appearances.

Revs II trailed 3-2 in the 75th minute before turning things around for the victory.

Bajraktarevic opened scoring in the 10th minute, sending a free kick off the wall and trickling into the goal.

Union II answered swiftly, with two goals from Chris Donovan and another from Chris Olney Jr. to make it 3-1 in Union II's favor by the 51st minute.

Bajraktarevic, intent on keeping his team in the match, struck again in the 75th minute. He hustled past an opponent in the midfield and upon entering the attacking third, sent a shot across goal that nestled into the bottom right corner.

Bajraktarevic is enjoying an excellent season overall, breaking into the Revolution's first team with seven appearances. He's proven to be a key player for Revs II, scoring two late game-winning goals and scoring in all three games he's played in MLS NEXT Pro.

The Appleton, Wisconsin, native is the first player to graduate from the Revolution Academy's residency program and ascend to the first team. He became the club's ninth Homegrown Player by signing a first-team deal in May 2022, then made his MLS debut in August 2022.

Revs II moves on to face Columbus Crew 2 in a battle between in-form Eastern Conference contenders. Revs II also seeks to avenge a 3-0 loss to Crew 2 suffered earlier this season.