NEW YORK (Friday, August 14, 2020) – Major League Soccer today announced Portland Timbers midfielder Andy Polo has won the MLS is Back Goal of the Tournament presented by AT&T 5G, and Portland Timbers goalkeeper Steve Clark has won the MLS is Back Save of the Tournament presented by Allstate.
Polo scored his award-winning goal on August 1 vs. New York City FC, a stunning curling effort in the 76th minute which sealed the Timbers victory in the quarterfinals. Clark recorded his award-winning save in a July 13 win vs. the LA Galaxy, a 13th-minute double save which started from a penalty kick, the opening win for the Timbers in their march to the MLS is Back championship.
The winning goal of the tournament and the winning save of the tournament were each determined via fan voting from eight nominees on MLSsoccer.com.
Polo’s goal was his lone goal scored in the tournament for the MLS is Back champion Timbers, but he made it one to remember, sealing a 3-1 win in the quarterfinal round. The sequence began when Polo received the ball making an overlapping run on the left flank, before carrying the ball to a few yards out from the corner of the penalty area. Cutting inside to evade a defender, Polo then hammered a curling strike that sailed inside the far post, just over the despairing dive of NYCFC goalkeeper Sean Johnson.
Clark’s save was a crucial event in the Timbers’ tournament-opening 2-1 win against the LA Galaxy on July 13. Facing a penalty kick in the 13th minute of the opener, Clark stood on his line facing Galaxy superstar Javier “Chicharito” Hernández. Clark dove to his left to push out the spot kick attempt from Chicharito, then scrambled up to smother a rebound chance from Sacha Kljestan, keeping the game scoreless and setting the platform for the Timbers win, which started a seven-game undefeated run through the tournament, ending with lifting the championship trophy.
The Goal and Save of the Tournament honors capped a marvelous competition for the Timbers, who won the championship with a 2-1 win against Orlando City SC, as Sebastián Blanco was named the MLS is Back Player of the Tournament presented by adidas.