NEW YORK (Wednesday, October 10, 2018) – Portland Timbers midfielder Sebastián Blanco was voted the Alcatel Major League Soccer Player of the Week by the North American Soccer Reporters (NASR) for the 32nd week of the 2018 MLS season.
Blanco registered two goals and one assist in Portland’s dominant 4-1 victory over Real Salt Lake at Rio Tinto Stadium on Saturday. The Argentine has produced 10 assists to go along with nine goals scored this season, both MLS career highs. Portland sits fourth in the Western Conference with 51 points (14-9-9 overall record) and has compiled a 9-3-2 record in matches where Blanco has registered a goal or assist this season.
Portland opened the scoring in the 33rd minute to take a 1-0 lead off Jeremy Ebobisse’s goal. Blanco dribbled into the right side of the box and sent a precise pass through traffic, where Ebobisse finished with a sliding kick right in front of goal (Watch Assist). Following an RSL equalizer, Blanco gave the Timbers the lead for good with an incredible individual effort on a 70th-minute goal. Blanco collected a deflection and dribbled past a pair of defenders to the left side of the box, then calmly finished with a strike far post to give Portland a 2-0 advantage ( Watch Goal).
Moments later, Blanco completed his brace to give Portland a 3-0 advantage in the 73rd minute. Diego Valeri set up Blanco with a pass to the left of the box, as Blanco finished with a tremendous strike to the top right corner of goal to leave the goalkeeper helpless (Watch Goal).
Portland returns to action on Sunday, October 21 when hosting Real Salt Lake at Providence Park (5 p.m. ET, ESPN+).