Timbers midfielder Sebastián Blanco named Alcatel MLS Player of the Week (Wk 32)

PORTLAND, Ore. – Portland Timbers midfielder Sebastián Blanco was voted the Alcatel Major League Soccer Player of the Week by the North American Soccer Reporters (NASR) for Week 32 of the 2018 MLS season, it was announced today, marking the second time in four weeks the midfielder earned the recognition. Blanco received Player of the Week honors after recording a brace and an assist in the Timbers’ 4-1 road victory against Real Salt Lake on Oct. 6.  

Blanco, 30, helped Portland score its first goal in the 33rd minute after he dribbled toward the end line and slotted a low, hard cross to the center of the box for forward Jeremy Ebobisse, who finished with a sliding shot from close range. 

The Argentinian midfielder scored his first goal of the night when he pounced on a Real Salt Lake clearance and weaved his way through the left side of the penalty box before striking his low shot off the far post into the back of the net in the 70th minute. 

Scoring his second goal three minutes later, Blanco completed his brace when Ebobisse played a quick pass to midfielder Diego Valeri at the edge of the box. Blanco made a late run down the left side of the box and Valeri played a short pass to Blanco, who finished with a well-placed strike inside the right post in the 73rd minute. 

The performance marked the second time in Blanco’s MLS career that he registered a brace in a match, with Blanco previously scoring two goals in a 4-0 win against D.C. United at Providence Park on Oct. 15, 2017. With the two goals and an assist, Blanco has nine goals and 10 assists on the season for Portland, which are career bests in both categories. Additionally, the award marks the second time this season Blanco has been named the Alcatel MLS player of the Week, after he tallied two assists in a 2-0 win over the Colorado Rapids on Sept. 11, 2018.

The Alcatel MLS Player of the Week is chosen each week of the regular season by members of the North American Soccer Reporters. The organization includes print, television, radio and online journalists who cover domestic men's soccer in the United States and Canada. Learn more about the NASR and apply to join at https://www.facebook.com/soccerreporters/.