Diego Valeri was named the 2017 Landon Donovan MLS Most Valuable Player on Monday, outpolling reigning MVP David Villa by a wide margin to cap a simply superlative campaign for the Portland Timbers playmaker.
Valeri was crowned in a ceremony at adidas America’s headquarters in the Rose City, where he's become a beloved icon both on the field and in the community, after racking up 21 goals and 11 assists to lead the Timbers to a first-place regular-season finish in the Western Conference standings.
In doing so, the Argentinean maestro became just the second player in the league’s 22-year history to record at least 20 goals and 10 assists in the same season, and his 32 combined goals and assists were tied for fifth-most in a single season in league history.
Both creative and consistent, Valeri also set the all-time MLS record for consecutive games with a goal as he scored in nine consecutive games from July 29-Sept. 24. He chipped in at least a goal or an assist against 19 of 21 MLS teams, and was the only player this season to net eight or more goals both at home and on the road. He has scored in every calendar month of MLS competition dating back to April 2016, and hasn’t gone a month without a goal or an assist since March 2014.
The 2015 MLS Cup MVP, four-time All-Star and three-time MLS Best XI selection is now Portland’s all-time leading scorer with 58 career MLS goals. He’s the first Timber to be named MLS MVP, the seventh South American to win the honor and the third from Argentina, following Christian Gomez (D.C. United, 2006) and Guillermo Barros Schelotto (Columbus Crew SC, 2008).
Since 1996, the MLS MVP award has been presented annually to the individual deemed most valuable to his club by players, management and the media. Below is a breakdown of the voting results:
|Most Valuable Player||Player||Club||Media||Total|
|Diego Valeri (POR)||45.42%||51.19%||55.52%||50.71%|
|David Villa (NYC)||9.52%||16.67%||23.01%||16.40%|
|Nemanja Nikolic (CHI)||6.59%||8.33%||8.59%||7.84%|
|Sebastian Giovinco (TOR)||7.69%||3.57%||6.75%||6.00%|
|Miguel Almirón (ATL)||5.86%||1.19%||3.99%||3.68%|
|Michael Bradley (TOR)||0.00%||9.52%||0.61%||3.38%|
|Josef Martínez (ATL)||5.13%||2.38%||2.15%||3.22%|
|Víctor Vazquez (TOR)||2.93%||1.19%||1.23%||1.78%|
All-Time MLS Most Valuable Players
- 2017: Diego Valeri – Portland Timbers
- 2016: David Villa – New York City FC
- 2015: Sebastian Giovinco – Toronto FC
- 2014: Robbie Keane – LA Galaxy
- 2013: Mike Magee – Chicago Fire
- 2012: Chris Wondolowski – San Jose Earthquakes
- 2011: Dwayne De Rosario – D.C. United
- 2010: David Ferreira – FC Dallas
- 2009: Landon Donovan – LA Galaxy
- 2008: Guillermo Barros Schelotto – Columbus Crew
- 2007: Luciano Emilio – D.C. United
- 2006: Christian Gomez – D.C. United
- 2005: Taylor Twellman – New England Revolution
- 2004: Amado Guevara – MetroStars
- 2003: Preki – Kansas City Wizards
- 2002: Carlos Ruiz – LA Galaxy
- 2001: Alex Pineda Chacon – Miami Fusion
- 2000: Tony Meola – Kansas City Wizards
- 1999: Jason Kreis – Dallas Burn
- 1998: Marco Etcheverry – D.C. United
- 1997: Preki – Kansas City Wizards
- 1996: Carlos Valderrama – Tampa Bay Mutiny