Player of the Matchday

Portland Timbers' Diego Valeri wins MLS Player of the Week for Week 19

Portland Timbers midfielder Diego Valeri was voted MLS Player of the Week by the North American Soccer Reporters (NASR) for Week 19 of the MLS season, it was announced Tuesday.

Valeri starred in the Timbers’ 3-1 win over the rival Seattle Sounders on Sunday, notching a brace to power Portland to their Cascadia Cup victory at Providence Park.

The Argentine playmaker scored both of his goals in a six-minute span on either side of halftime. He got things started in the 44th minute, collecting a Lucas Melano pass just outside the area and curling a low shot inside the far post to punctuate a Timbers counterattack and give Portland a 1-0 lead.

Valeri made it 2-0 in fantastic fashion in the 50th minute. Left back Jermaine Taylor started the play, hitting a long cross-field ball to Valeri on the right edge of the area. Valeri took the ball down with his chest and headed it toward the end line before hitting the bouncing ball out of the air, over Seattle goalkeeper Stefan Frei off the far post and in from a very tight angle.

Valeri, who was making his return Sunday after missing three games due to injury, now has nine goals and five assists in 17 appearances this season.

He and the sixth-place Timbers will return to action on Saturday when they host the LA Galaxy at Providence Park (3:30 pm ET; ESPN in the US, MLS LIVE in Canada).