Aug 6, 2013, 5:30 PM EST
Diego Valeri became Portland Timbers property on Tuesday, as the club shelled out the cash to buy his contract from Club Atlético Lanús in Argentina and sign him to a multiyear deal. He will be a Designated Player the whole time, unless his contract is renegotiated at some point to buy him down.
Sports Illustrated’s Grant Wahl reported on Twitter that the transfer fee was a little less than $3 million.
In just half a season in Major League Soccer, Valeri has been one of the main figureheads in Portland’s attack, alongside Akron wunderkind Darlington Nagbe and veteran Ryan Johnson. Under head coach Caleb Porter, the Timbers are in the hunt for the 2013 Supporters’ Shield after contending for the Red Lantern in their first two years.
Valeri’s four goals and eight assists make him the top scorer for the club right now, from his position in the classic No. 10 playmaking spot. He drifts all over the field from that central perch, finding gaps and picking passes to the wingers and target man.
An MLS All-Star in his first year, Valeri’s three multi-assist matches are tops in the league. He also finds plenty of his own opportunities, as he leads the team with 53 total shots.
When end-of-season voting comes around, his name should be on the ballot for Newcomer of the Year. While he may not be the most creative player on the team (that’s Nagbe) or the most vocal leader (that’s Will Johnson), Valeri has carved out a spot for himself as a central figure who leads by example.
By locking him up, the Timbers ensured that Valeri’s steady presence would be colored green and red for the foreseeable future, securing a major creative force in their attack in the process.
- MLS Re-Entry Draft: As predicted, Portland find a way to get Steve Zakuani 3
- Early approval: Klinsmann extends contract, will serve as U.S. head coach, technical director through 2018 3
- MLS announces Bayern Munich as opponent for 2014 All-Star Game in Portland 4
- WATCH: Can Tottenham stop Luis Suarez and can City beat Arsenal? 0
- UK Twitter chat in 2013 dominated by soccer. Good thing or bad thing? 2
- UEFA rules set up Arsenal, Manchester City for tough Champions League Round of 16 draws 3
- 2014 World Cup Draw: Recapping the event (43)
- 2014 World Cup Draw: USA in Group of Death with Germany, Portugal, Ghana – Schedule, times, venues (34)
- Now that we know the U.S. opponents, which 23 players should Jurgen Klinsmann bring to Brazil? (21)
- Sporting Kansas City crowned 2013 MLS champions after 10 rounds of penalty kicks (16)
- U.S. national team discussion: The Alejandro Bedoya conundrum (14)
- Giovani: "We Were Over Criticized"
- Watch Out Netherlands! Chile-Clan Ain't Nothin' to Mess With!
- Messi on Safe Track to Full Recovery
- The Argentinian Armada, Favorites for Brazil 2014
- Brazil 2014: A Look At South America
- Arena de Amazonia: Host of USA vs CR7
- USA Will Advance in Brazil
- You Can't Beat German Sachlichkeit
- Group B: No Walk In The Park
- Analyzing The Draw From An Azzurri Viewpoint