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 28 of the 2018 MLS season, it was announced today, marking the first time the midfielder has earned the recognition. Blanco received Player of the Week honors after recording two assists in the Timbers’ 2-0 shutout victory against the Colorado Rapids on Sept. 8.
Blanco, 30, created Portland’s first goal in the 45th minute after he received the ball from midfielder Diego Chara on the right edge of the box. Dribbling past a defender, Blanco slid a pinpoint pass to forward Jeremy Ebobisse running toward goal for the finish (Watch Goal). The Argentinian midfielder tallied his second assist of the night when he dribbled down the left wing to the end line and delivered a hard cross into the box for midfielder Diego Valeri, who headed it into the back of the net at the goal line in the 65th minute (Watch Goal).
The performance marked the second time in Blanco’s career that he recorded two assists in the same match, with Blanco previously tallying two assists in a 3-2 win over the Rapids on May 26, 2018. The two assists increased Blanco’s season total to eight, which equals his mark for assists in a season from 2017. Blanco is the second Timbers player in the club's MLS era to have eight or more assists in multiple seasons. Additionally, Blanco is the second Timbers player this season to be named the Alcatel MLS Player of the Week, with defender Alvas Powell earning the honor in Week 7.
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/.