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Diego Valeri’s volley against Vancouver is near-perfection (video)

Portland Timbers against the Seattle Sounders

Portland Timbers midfielder Diego Valeri (8) blows a kiss after he scored the Timbers’ second goal of the first half against rival Seattle Sounders in Game 2 of the Western Conference semifinals of the MLS Cup at Jeld-Wen Field in Portland Thursday Nov. 7, 2013. (AP Photo/The Oregonian, Randy L. Rasmussen)


If he put it into one of the corners, this would be a perfectly executed goal, but it seems unfair to nit-pick anything about this Diego Valeri strike.

Twenty-eight minutes into today’s derby against Vancouver, Valeri runs onto Jorge Villafana’s cross in stride, meets the ball just before it finds the ground, and blasts his shot under David Ousted’s cross-bar. After nearly half-an-hour of Whitecaps’ control, one moment of brilliance from Portland’s best put the home side in front.

With some goals it’s the power. Others it’s the distance. With this, it’s the grace. Valeri makes everything about this technique look easy, even though we almost never see this shot end up in the top of the goal. But just as easily as he ran onto the cross, Valeri steered away from goal, calmly celebrating as if a highlight reel goal was the possible outcome.

At intermission at Providence Park, the Timbers have a 1-0 lead, with the game available on NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra.