Midfielder Diego Valeri scores for a seventh straight game, tying the MLS record for consecutive games with a goal – Timbers Move into First Place in Conference
With the 1-0 win, the Timbers moved into first place in the Western Conference standings with 44 points, two points clear of Seattle Sounders FC. Sports fans of all ages, from youth soccer players to arm-chair soccer coaches can enjoy watching and learning from a resounding victory like this!
Soccer News: The Portland Timbers defeated New York City FC 1-0 before 23,651 fans at Yankee Stadium on Saturday evening, recording their second clean-sheet victory in the team’s last four games played.
With the 1-0 win, the Timbers moved into first place in the Western Conference standings with 44 points, two points clear of Seattle Sounders FC.
Additionally, with the victory, the Timbers (12-9-8, 44pts) became just the second team in the league to record a win at Yankee Stadium in 2017. Portland extended its unbeaten run in league play to four games, losing just once in its last eight regular-season games (5-1-2).
Portland opened the scoring in the 44th minute when forward Darren Mattocks dispossessed NYCFC midfielder Andrea Pirlo just outside the 18-yard box. Driving into the box with the ball, Mattocks quickly found Valeri in space near the penalty spot, with the midfielder taking a touch before calmly blasting the ball inside the near post.
The finish marked Valeri’s seventh straight game with a goal, with the midfielder tying the MLS record for consecutive games with a goal and becoming one of just four players in league history to record a goal in seven straight games.
Valeri also extended his season tally to 17 goals, which ranks tied as the second-most goals in MLS in 2017. Valeri’s 17 goals are the most scored by a Portland player in a single season during the club’s MLS era.
With 14 shots in the match, including an 8-3 edge over NYCFC (15-8-5, 50pts) in shots on target, Portland produced numerous goal-scoring opportunities throughout the 90-minute contest, forcing goalkeeper Sean Johnson to make seven saves in the match.
The Timbers created one of their strongest chances of the first half five minutes before halftime when a free kick into the box from midfielder David Guzmán found defender Roy Miller, who quickly redirected a header on target, forcing a finger-tip save from Johnson. The save from Johnson bounced up quickly to Valeri on the edge of the six-yard box, with the midfielder hitting his follow-up attempt high of the target.
One minute later, Portland followed up with another threatening chance when midfielder Darlington Nagbe lobbed the ball over the NYCFC defense to Mattocks, who came close to finding the back of the net, but Johnson managed to quickly charge off his line and clear away the danger.
Opening up the second half, Portland came close to doubling its lead when Guzmán’s corner kick to the near post found Vytas, who whipped a powerful header on target, forcing a strong left-handed save from Johnson in the 54th minute of play.
Less than 10 minutes later, Johnson produced another strong save when forward Jeremy Ebobisse laid the ball off for Valeri inside the box. Running onto Ebobisse’s pass, Valeri took the ball in stride, firing a low effort that was pushed wide by the goalkeeper.
Continuing to press NYCFC high up the field, the Timbers created another chance in the 73rd minute when Blanco powered his way into the box, hitting a left-footed effort that was deflected wide by midfielder Maxi Moralez.
Seven minutes later, the Timbers created another chance on the counter when Valeri found a pocket of space just outside the box, firing a skipping effort on target, but Johnson managed to make a difficult, diving save. Stemming from the ensuing corner kick, Nagbe blasted a powerful strike from the left side of the box, forcing Johnson to get low and parry the shot away from danger.
Three minutes later, with the Timbers pressuring NYCFC deep in their own half, Blanco managed to win the ball in a dangerous area. Powering into the box, Blanco slipped a pass to an unmarked Valeri, who hit a left-footed effort that was on its way into the back of net before Johnson quickly recovered to make a diving save in the 83rd minute.
Next up, the Timbers will travel to face Real Salt Lake at Rio Tinto Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 16. Beginning at 6:30 p.m. (Pacific), the match against Real Salt Lake will be broadcast live on PDX TV (KPDX) with local radio broadcasts on KXL 101.1FM (English) and La GranD 1150 AM/93.5 FM (Spanish).