Portland Timbers midfielder Sebastián Blanco Thursday was named the MLS is Back player of the tournament.
Blanco’s performance pushed Portland to the MLS is Back Tournament title and a berth in the 2021 Concacaf Champions League, as he tied for the lead among all players with five assists. His three goals were tied for sixth most in tournament play.
He kicked off the tournament with an assist and the game-winning goal in Portland’s 2-1 victory over the LA Galaxy July 13. Five days later, Blanco contributed an assist in the Timbers 2-1 win over the Houston Dynamo. He registered another assist July 23 in a 2-2 draw against LAFC to secure the top spot in Group F.
The Argentine continued his heroics in the knockout stage, registering an assist and converting a penalty kick in a 4-2 shootout victory over FC Cincinnati, after playing to a 1-1 draw in the Round of 16 July 28. Portland was powered to a 3-1 win against New York City FC in the quarterfinals with a Blanco goal and another assist.
The midfielder scored the game-winning goal in Portland’s 2-1 victory over the Philadelphia Union Aug. 5 to secure a spot in the MLS is Back Tournament final.
Of Blanco’s eight combined goals and assists, one goal and three assists came in the MLS is Back Tournament group stage and count toward the regular season. His three assists are tied for fifth in the MLS regular season entering return to play in home markets.
The MLS is Back player of the tournament was voted on by media (weighted 75 percent of the vote) and fans (weighted 25 percent of the vote). Below is a breakdown of the voting results:
|Player of the Tournament||Media %||Fan %||Final %|
|Sebastián Blanco (POR)||49.61%||14.64%||40.86%|
|Diego Rossi (LAFC)||11.81%||30.16%||16.40%|
|Andre Blake (PHI)||3.15%||6.61%||4.01%|