New York City FC 0, Portland Timbers 1 | 2017 MLS Match Recap
Diego Valeri scored the only goal of the game, tying an MLS record with a goal in his seventh straight contest, leading the visitors to an unexpected win that vaulted the Timbers to the top of the Western Conference.
The game-winner came just before the halftime break after Timbers striker Darren Mattocks muscled Andrea Pirlo off the ball in his own third and fed across to an unmarked Valeri near the penalty spot. The Argentine settled the ball and calmly chose a corner, making no mistake with the finish.
- 44' - POR - Diego Valeri (WATCH)
- MASTERFUL VALERI SETS RECORD: Seven goals, seven games. A feat accomplished only three time in MLS history. What a time to get hot, as Valeri has led the Timbers from a team struggling to secure their playoff position to the top of the table. After a run of two wins in 13 matches earlier this summer, Portland has taken 17 out of a possible 24 points in the past eight games. Valeri sits on 17 goals for the season, only two behind leader David Villa for MLS Golden Boot honors. Watch out west.
- HOME SWEET, NOPE: New York City entered Saturday's match with some stunning results at home in the Bronx: They'd gone 10 straight without a loss, defeated only once in their past 22 (17-1-4). That streak ended with a whimper on Saturday, as NYCFC struggled to find the finishing touch without talisman David Villa, still out with a hamstring injury suffered on international duty with Spain two weeks ago.
- STUNNING IN DEFEAT: If not for a spectacular goalkeeping display from Sean Johnson, this might have been way worse for New York City FC. Johnson came up big in the first half saving a glancing header by Roy Miller, but then really got his Save of the Week on, robbing first Vytas from point blank range and the Valeri twice - first getting down quickly to his right and then again absolutely stonewalling the Argentine with the goal gaping. Johnson certainly has been a polarizing figure during his career - prone to silly mistakes and costly errors - but then turns in performances like Saturday that show why he is getting looks with the US national team. If he finds a way to turn in more consistent performances like he did vs the Timbers, he will be in a position to make a serious case as a successor to Tim Howard and Brad Guzan.
- NYCFC: at Colorado Rapids, Saturday, Sept. 16, 9 pm ET (MLS LIVE)
- POR: at Real Salt Lake, Sunday, Sept. 16, 9:30 pm ET (MLS LIVE)