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.
If there have been smoother, more technically inclined midfielders than Diego Valeri in the history of MLS, the list is decisively short. In a relatively small amount of time, Valeri established himself as one of the best creative attacking midfielders in MLS, pulling off moments of sublime skill and creating goals of purest silk. He set the table with a team-leading 10 goals and a league-best 13 assists in his first season in Portland, creating a high bar he’s yet to miss as a driving central midfielder with the tools to hit just about any pass. Notably, Valeri scored the fastest goal in MLS history in the MLS Cup final to help the Timbers to their first MLS championship.
INTERNATIONAL: Valeri’s 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.