Portland Timbers midfielder Diego Valeri named MLS Player of the Week

PORTLAND, Ore. – Portland Timbers midfielder Diego Valeri was voted MLS Player of the Week by the North American Soccer Reporters (NASR) for Week 19 of the 2016 MLS season, it was announced today.

Valeri scored two goals to help guide the Timbers to a 3-1 victory over Seattle Sounders FC and extended their unbeaten run to nine games on Sunday at Providence Park. The brace was Valeri’s second on the season and upped his tally to nine goals in 2016, which is tied for the fourth-most in MLS.

The Argentinean midfielder scored his first goal of the match in the 44th minute resulting from combination play between Valeri and midfielder Lucas Melano, who finished the match with two assists. Driving down the left wing, Melano drew in two defenders near him and laid the ball off to Valeri, who curled a precise strike into the bottom right corner from the edge of the box (Watch Goal).

Portland doubled its lead in the second
half after Valeri scored from a tough angle from the right side of the box in the 50th minute. After Timbers defender Jermaine Taylor switched the field of play and played in a deep ball to Valeri on the right side of the 18-yard box, Valeri chested the ball down and lobbed Sounders FC goalkeeper Stefan Frei at the far post (Watch Goal).

Heading into Week 20 in MLS, Valeri is the only player in the league this season to have nine or more goals and five or more assists. In four seasons with Portland, Valeri has amassed 32 goals and 40 assists over 103 games played (97 starts).

The MLS Player of the Week is selected each week of the regular season by a panel of journalists from NASR. The group consists of members of print, television, radio and online media.

Next up, the Timbers will play host to the LA Galaxy on Saturday, July 23, at Providence Park; kickoff is set for 12:30 p.m. (Pacific). The match will feature a national broadcast on ESPN with local radio broadcasts on 750 AM/102.9 FM The Game (English) and La GranD 1150 AM/93.5 FM (Spanish).