PORTLAND — Diego Valeri scored twice to extend his MLS-record scoring streak to nine straight games and the Portland Timbers beat Orlando City 3-0 on Sunday.
Valeri moved in front of NYCFC’s David Villa for most goals this season with 20.
The Argentine midfielder scored on a penalty kick in the 15th minute to extend the streak. Fans chanted “M-V-P! M-V-P!” after his second goal in the 59th minute, which put him in the lead for the Golden Boot award.
The Timbers, who started the day in third place in the Western Conference behind Vancouver and Kansas City, won their fourth straight at home.
Orlando City’s chances of making the playoffs grew slimmer with the loss. The slumping Lions, who have won just one game in their past 11, were in second-to-last place in the East. The team won six of its first seven games of the season.
Toronto FC and NYCFC have already clinched playoff spots.
After Valeri’s early penalty kick, the Timbers pushed the lead on Darren Mattocks’ goal off a cross from Dairon Asprilla in the 30th minute. It was Mattocks’ third goal of the season.
Jonathan Spector was sent off in the first minute of the second half after his second yellow card of the game for a foul on Valeri, and Orlando was down to 10 players.
After Valeri’s second goal, the match got chippy with some shoving as Orlando set up for a free kick.
Victor Pagliari Giro was sent off in the 85th for appearing to elbow Portland’s Diego Chara in the face. The Lions were reduced to nine players the rest of the way.
Valeri has scored more goals than any other Timbers player across all eras.
The game featured the newest Timber, 5-year-old goalkeeper Derek Tellez, who was signed to a one-game contract to grant his wish with Make-a-Wish Oregon.
Tellez, who has had three surgeries for a cancerous brain tumor, got a rousing ovation from fans when he was introduced as a sub on the video scoreboard. He also stood with the team during the national anthem and posed for the official match photo. On Friday he practiced with the team.