Sebastian Blanco, Quick Strikes, 11.20.18
Photo by Craig Mitchelldyer

Quick Strikes | Sebastián Blanco one of the hottest players in MLS since start of September

In the first leg of the Audi 2018 MLS Cup Playoffs Western Conference Championship, the Portland Timbers host Sporting Kansas City Sunday at Providence Park (4:30pm PT, FS1 | Presented by Oregon Lottery). Here are five numbers to know for #PORvSKC in a special playoff edition of Quick Strikes. 

6+5 From Sept. 8 on, Sebastián Blanco has scored six goals and notched five assists in MLS playoff and regular-season matches. That is the most combined goals and assists for any MLS player in that time span. 

2 Since MLS returned to the two-conference playoff format in 2003, the 2018 Timbers are just the second Western Conference team to score two or more goals in each of its first three matches of a single postseason. The only other time a Western Conference team accomplished the feat was when Portland also did it in 2013.

7 This is the third time in the last six seasons that Portland has made it to the MLS Conference Championship round. In all eras of the Timbers as a pro team (since 1975), this is the seventh time the club is one of the final four teams remaining in its league's playoffs. 

11 After his assist in the second leg against Seattle of the Western Conference Semifinals, Diego Valeri now has 11 combined postseason goals and assists. That is tied for second-most combined goals and assists among active MLS players, just one behind Toronto FC's Jozy Altidore. 

21 The match will be the 21st and final home game of the 2018 season for Portland. The Timbers are 14-2-4 in all competitions at Providence Park this season, having scored 35 goals while conceding just 14. 

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