—by Sherrilynn "Sheba" Rawson
AP Photo/Paul Vernon
That's how long it took El Maestro to score the fastest goal in MLS Cup history. The last notes of the national anthem had barely finished sounding at Mapfre when Diego Valeri capitalized on Steve Clark's less than stellar attempt to control a back pass and Valeri put the ball into the back of the net on the way to the Timbers' 2-1 MLS Cup victory on December 6th, 2015.
And now he has made an amazing gift to the Timbers Army in memory of that moment.
Valeri has signed the ball he struck to make MLS Cup and Timbers history and has donated it to us. Here's his message to the Timbers Army about the gift (haga clic aquí para ver su mensaje en español).
There is no way that words can adequately express our gratitude for his leadership and grace, both on and off the field. (Feel free to give it a try anyway at his Twitter handle, his Instagram, and/or in the comments below.) For now, we'll just leave it at: