Diego Valeri created his own luck, and his reward was MLS Cup Most Valuable Player honors.
Valeri, who tore his left ACL on the final day of the 2014 season, scored after 27 minutes, the fastest goal in MLS Cup history, to give Portland a 1-0 lead in what would eventually be a 2-1 MLS Cup triumph against Columbus Crew SC at MAPFRE Stadium.
Under pressure from the Timbers, Columbus defender Michael Parkhurst passed the ball back to goalkeeper Steve Clark, who took a long touch across his own goal. Clark dallied on the ball, giving Valeri time to close him down and redirect an attempted clearance into an empty net.
"This trophy that we’ve won is for [our fans]," Valeri said in a postgame interview with Univision. "And I hope that this makes our trophy case and in the future we can get more trophies for the club."
Valeri missed the first two months of the 2015 season while recovering from the ACL tear and made 22 starts (2 goals, 8 assists) in the regular season before starting all five playoff matches for Caleb Porter, contributing one goal and four assists.