MLS maestros: The No. 10s lighting up MLS and bucking the global trend
Some have proclaimed the death of the traditional playmaker. A look around MLS tells a very different story.
HOW ACQUIRED: Contract purchased from Argentina’s Club Atlético Lanús and signed to a multiyear contract Aug. 6, 2013; first joined the club on loan as a Designated Player from Lanús on Jan. 10, 2013. Signed a multi-year extension on Dec. 16, 2019.
Valeri joined Portland in 2013 and has been a fixture in the lineup since, helping the club to their first MLS Cup title, in 2015, winning MLS Cup MVP. Winning MLS Newcomer of the Year in 2013, in 2017 he was MLS MVP after scoring 21 goals and 11 assists in 32 regular-season appearances. He is a three-time MLS Best XI selection and a four-time MLS All-Star selection and shows no signs of slowing down at age 34.
INTERNATIONAL: Valeri made three appearances for the Argentinian senior team since making his debut in 2011, his last cap coming in 2014.
OUTSIDE MLS: Valeri established himself as one of the most dangerous midfielders in Argentina during his 10 years with Lanús from 2003-2013. In that time, he made more than 150 appearances and bagged 26 goals. In that time, he also had two brief loan stints with on the Iberian Peninsula with Porto and Almería.
NOTES: Owner of the fastest goal in MLS Cup history...2017 MLS MVP...MLS All-Star 2014, 2016, 2017, 2018...MLS Best XI in 2013, 2014 and 2017.