Timbers Earn Spot in Semifinals of MLS Is Back Tournament with 3-1 Win against New York City FC
ORLANDO, Fla. - The Portland Timbers scored three unanswered goals to secure a spot in the semifinal round of the MLS is Back Tournament with a 3-1 win in the quarterfinals against New York City FC at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex on Saturday night. SebastiÃ¡n Blanco equalized for Portland late in the first half, while Diego Valeri and Andy Polo added second-half goals to secure the win.
Diego Chara Mr. 300
Diego Chara appeared in his 300th match across all competitions for the Timbers, which is the most in club history. Since making his debut with the Timbers on April 23, 2011, Chara has tallied 10 goals and 22 assists in 300 appearances (297 starts) for the club.
With the win, the Timbers advanced to the semifinals of a competitive tournament for the 12th time as a club. Portland also accomplished the feat in the 1975 NASL Playoffs, the 1978 NASL Playoffs, 1989 WSL Playoffs, the 2007 USL Playoffs, the 2009 USL Playoffs, the 2013 U.S. Open Cup, the 2013 MLS Cup Playoffs, the 2015 MLS Cup Playoffs, the 2018 MLS Cup Playoffs and the 2019 U.S. Open Cup.
Blanco recorded his second goal and fifth assist of the tournament on Saturday against NYCFC. His five assists are tied for the tournament lead with Toronto FC's Alejandro Pozuelo. Blanco has been directly involved in seven (2g, 5a) of Portland's 10 goals at the tournament. Notably, Blanco registered an assist for a fifth consecutive match. He has recorded an assist in all five matches at the tournament - the longest streak of games with an assist in Portland's MLS history.
With his strike in the second half, Polo recorded his first goal of the tournament. He became the fifth player to tally a goal for the Timbers in the competition, joining Blanco, Jeremy Ebobisse, Jaroslaw Niezgoda and Valeri. Additionally, Blanco and Valeri both notched their second goals of the tournament becoming the third and fourth players to record multiple goals for Portland in the competition along with Ebobisse (3g) and Niezgoda (2g). Niezgoda recorded his first career assist with the Timbers. With the assist, Niezgoda became the seventh player to record an assist for Portland in the tournament.
NYC - JesÃºs Medina (penalty kick), 27th minute: After Portland committed a foul inside the box, JesÃºs Medina converted from the penalty spot.
POR - SebastiÃ¡n Blanco, 43rd minute: Jorge Villafaña's cross from the left side was cleared from inside the box, but Blanco intercepted the pass and sent a curling strike inside the right post.
POR - Diego Valeri (Jaroslaw Niezgoda), 65th minute: Near the edge of the box, Niezgoda combined with Valeri, who fired a well-placed strike inside the left post from inside the box.
POR - Andy Polo (SebastiÃ¡n Blanco), 76th minute: Just one minute after entering the match, Polo dribbled down the left side of the field and unleashed a powerful, curling strike from just outside the box into the top right corner of the goal.
SebastiÃ¡n Blanco was named the Heineken Man of the Match after tallying a goal and an assist against NYCFC.
Blanco has been directly involved in seven (2g, 5a) of Portland's 10 goals at the MLS is Back Tournament.
Blanco registered an assist for a fifth consecutive match in the tournament.
Blanco has recorded an assist in all five matches at the tournament - the longest streak of games with an assist in Portland's MLS history.
Blanco is tied with Toronto FC's Alejandro Pozuelo for the most assists (5) in the tournament.
Blanco's seven combined goals and assists are the second-most in the competition behind only LAFC's Diego Rossi with eight.
Diego Chara appeared in his 300th match across all competitions for the Timbers, which is the most in club history.
Jaroslaw Niezgoda recorded his first assist with the Timbers in the match.
Niezgoda has a goal or an assist in three consecutive matches for Portland.
Niezgoda became the seventh player to record an assist for Portland in the competition.
Andy Polo recorded his first goal of tournament on Saturday. The goal was also his first of the 2020 season.
With his game-winning goal against NYCFC, Diego Valeri has now tallied two goals and an assist in five tournament appearances.
Four players have tallied multiple goals for Portland in the competition: Blanco (2), Jeremy Ebobisse (3), Niezgoda (2) and Valeri (2).
Polo and Valeri are the first pair of substitutes to score in the same match for the Timbers in their MLS history.
Four different players have scored goals as substitutes in the tournament - Ebobisse, Niezgoda, Polo and Valeri. In 2019, only three players scored as substitutes in MLS for the club.
Blake Bodily made his Timbers debut in the match, entering the match as a late-game substitute.
Portland advanced to the semifinals of a competitive tournament for the 12th time as a club with the win on Saturday.
In the semifinals, Portland takes on the Philadelphia Union on Wednesday, Aug. 5; kickoff is set for 5 p.m. (Pacific) on FS1 with local radio broadcasts on 750 The Game (English) and La GranD 1150AM/93.5 FM (Spanish).
Portland Timbers vs. New York City FC- MLS is Back Tournament - Quarterfinals
Aug. 1, 2020 - ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex (Orlando, Fla.)
Goals by Half 1 2 F
Portland Timbers 1 2 3
NYCFC 1 0 1
NYC: Medina (penalty kick), 27
POR: Blanco, 43
POR: Valeri (Niezgoda), 65
POR: Polo (Blanco), 76
POR: Williamson (caution), 37
NYC: Ring (caution), 44
NYC: Medina (caution), 45+1
POR: Savarese (caution), 74
POR: Mabiala (caution), 79
NYC: Moralez (caution), 85
NYC: Callens (caution), 90+5
POR: GK Clark, D Bonilla, D Mabiala, D Zuparic, D Villafaña, M D. Chara ©, M Williamson (Polo, 75), M Y. Chara (Niezgoda, 52), M Blanco (Bodily, 90+3), M LorÃa (Valeri, 45), F Ebobisse (Mora, 74)
Substitutes Not Used: GK Ivacic, D Cascante, D Duvall, D Tuiloma, M Conechny, M Paredes, M Zambrano
TOTAL SHOTS: 9 (Ebobisse, 4); SHOTS ON GOAL: 5 (Ebobisse, 2); FOULS: 12 (Mabiala, 5); OFFSIDES: 0; CORNER KICKS: 2; SAVES: 2
NYC: GK Johnson, D Tinnerholm, D Chanot, D Callens, D Matarrita, M Ring ©, M Sands, M Medina (Parks, 72), F Castellanos, F Mackay-Steven (Moralez, 56), F Mitrita (Héber, 72)
Substitutes Not Used: GK Barraza, D ThÃ³rarinsson, D Gray, D Scally, D Acevedo, D Ibeagha, M Torres, M Rocha, M Haak
TOTAL SHOTS: 10 (Castellanos, Medina, 2); SHOTS ON GOAL: 3 (Medina, 2); FOULS: 13 (Chanot, 4); OFFSIDES: 1; CORNER KICKS: 5; SAVES: 2
Referee: Robert Sibiga
Assistant Referees: Jose Da Silva, Cory Richardson
4th Official: Ramy Touchan
VAR: Allen Chapman
Weather: Clear, 78 degrees
All statistics contained in this box score are unofficial
• Discuss this story on the Major League Soccer message board...
Major League Soccer Stories from August 2, 2020
- Loudoun United FC Lose 4-1 to Hartford Athletic on the Road - D.C. United
- Nashville SC Retains Resilient Attitude in Uncertain Times - Nashville SC
- Lions' Mentality on Full Display in Quarterfinal Win - Orlando City SC
- Timbers Earn Spot in Semifinals of MLS Is Back Tournament with 3-1 Win against New York City FC - Portland Timbers
The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.
Other Recent Portland Timbers Stories
- Timbers Midfielder Diego Valeri Named MLS Player of the Week
- Timbers Earn 6-1 Road Win over San Jose Earthquakes
- Timbers Face San Jose Earthquakes in Road Match Tonight
- Timbers Record 1-1 Draw on the Road against San Jose Earthquakes
- Timbers Face San Jose Earthquakes in Road Match Tonight