The Portland Timbers won their second game of the season in stunning fashion Sunday with a 3-0 thumping of New York City FC. Head coach Giovanni Savarese utilized a unique 4-4-1-1 formation for the match and the results spoke for themselves.
Savarese's plan had them concede possession and absorb pressure while being ruthless in their chances. Only once before in MLS Opta era had a team score three-plus goals, earn a shutout and have less than 30% possession (Aug. 7, 2016, Portland defeating KC 3-0). The match was Portland's first clean sheet of the season, while NYCFC was held scoreless for the first time in its last 14 regular-season matches.
It was a strong team performance that earned Savarese a spot as the coach on the MLS Team of the Week for Week 8.
Also earning TOTW plaudits? Portland defender Larrys Mabiala, who scored his first goal ever in a Timbers uniform–a thumping header in the 66th minute. Mabiala was also part of a team that limited the visitors to just three shots on goal with only one of them coming from inside the 18-yard box.
Attacker Sebastián Blanco scored his team-leading fourth goal of the season and his strong two-way play earned him a spot on the TOTW bench.
Team of the Week: Romell Quioto (HOU), Johnny Russell (SKC), Chris Mueller (ORL), Ignacio Piatti (MTL), Yohan Croizet (SKC), Osvaldo Alonso (SEA), Miguel Almiron (ATL), Matt Hedges (DAL), Larrys Mabiala (POR), Claude Dielna (NE), Richard Sanchez (CHI)
Coach:Giovanni Savarese (POR)
Bench: Jimmy Maurer (DAL), Jimmy Medranda (SKC), Sebastian Blanco (POR), Dax McCarty (CHI), Albert Rusnak (RSL), Yoshi Yotun (ORL), Carlos Vela (LAFC)
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The Team of the Week presented by Audi is voted on by the MLSsoccer.com editorial staff.