SALT LAKE CITY – Real Salt Lake midfielder / striker Damir Kreilach has been named MLS Player of the Week for the second time this season. He is the only Real Salt Lake player to have received the award this season.
Kreilach scored in the 95th minute to send Real Salt Lake to the MLS playoffs with essentially the last kick of the regular season. Before the game, Real Salt Lake had to win if they intended to play in the playoffs. They didn’t need the help of another team. It was a victory and you are in the scenario.
The match was level 0-0 in stoppage time, Aaron Herrera whipped a cross which was struck by Sporting Kansas City goalkeeper Tim Melia and fell at the feet of Everton Luiz who attempted to kick the ball over the fly. Luiz didn’t make good contact with his shot attempt and the ball bounced off Justin Meram who attempted a bicycle kick, but just like Luiz, didn’t make good contact and the ball fell on Kreilach at the top of the six-meter surface. Kreilach put out his right foot and the ball flew into the net.
Real Salt Lake has erupted into pandemonium. With the final kickoff of the 2021 MLS regular season, Real Salt Lake advanced to the playoffs and knocked out the LA Galaxy in the process.
Kreilach had a special season in the Real Salt Lake kit. He leads the team in goals with 16 goals and only missed three goals for the MLS Golden Boot award. He was also selected as an All-Star earlier in the season, becoming the first Real Salt Lake All-Star since Nick Rimando was selected by MLS commissioner Don Garber as commissioner pick in his final season in 2019. .
Real Salt Lake will now face the Seattle Sounders in the first round of the playoffs. The date and time of the match have not yet been announced. MLS will suffer a two-week hiatus before the start of the playoffs due to an international FIFA window.