The Portland Timbers have made a major power move by extending Diego Valeri’s Designated Player contract. With coach Caleb Porter at the helm, it seems the franchise can do no wrong.
— Portland Timbers (@TimbersFC) August 10, 2016
By locking down Valeri for years to come, the Timbers have secured their position as a Western Conference power for the foreseeable future.
Until the Seattle Sounders signed Nico Lodeiro a few weeks ago, Diego Valeri was hands down the best attacking midfielder in the league. He’s been a one-man wrecking crew since arriving in MLS in 2013:
- 40 assists and 33 goals since 2013
- Three time MLS All-Star
- Named to MLS Best XI in 2013 and 2014
- Timbers Player’s Player of the Year in 2014
- Timbers Supporter’s Player of the Year in 2014
- MLS Cup Champion in 2015
- MLS Cup MVP in 2015
Under Caleb Porter, the Timbers have become the poster child of how to do more with less. The Timbers won MLS Cup last year with a roster that didn’t have a single player making more than a million dollars per year (though defender Liam Ridgewell did make $1,000,000 on the dot).
Compare that with a team like Toronto FC, that has three players – Sebastian Giovinco, Michael Bradley, and Jozy Altidore – making more than $4.5 million per year.
Sometimes less is more.
Porter and the Timbers understand how to build a deep, young squad without a real marquee player. Not that Darlington Nagbe and Diego Valeri aren’t stars, but their names don’t ring the same bells that David Villa, Kaka, or Steven Gerrard do.
Valeri has been a godsend for Portland and it was a savvy move by the organization to extend his contract. The rest of MLS better look out for the Timbers come playoff time.