PORTLAND, Ore. – Major League Soccer announced today that Portland Timbers midfielder Diego Valeri has been voted to the 2018 MLS All-Star Fan XI presented by Target, as voted by MLS fans.
Scheduled to take place on Aug. 1, the 2018 MLS All-Star game presented by Target will feature a contest between the MLS All-Stars and Italian Serie A powerhouse Juventus at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. Beginning at 4:30 p.m. (Pacific), the match will be televised nationally on ESPN, UniMás, TSN and TVA Sports.
As part of the Fan XI, Valeri, the reigning Landon Donovan MLS Most Valuable Player, was one of the top vote-getters for the 2018 MLS All-Star squad based upon fan voting online at MLSsoccer.com and through the MLS app. The 2018 MLS All-Star gameday roster, consisting of 24 players, will be announced at a later date and will include the 2018 MLS All-Star Fan XI presented by Target, two Commissioner’s Picks, and 11 players selected by All-Star Head Coach Gerardo “Tata” Martino. Martino will select the starting 11 from the 24-man MLS All-Star roster.
The announcement marks the fifth time Valeri has received MLS All-Star recognition, with the midfielder most recently featuring in the 2017 MLS All-Star game against Real Madrid. Valeri has recorded one assist in the MLS All-Star game, setting up the game-winning goal in the MLS All-Star team’s 2-1 win over FC Bayern Munich at Providence Park in 2014. Overall, Valeri has been recognized as an MLS All-Star on five occasions in his six seasons with the Timbers, with the midfielder being named an inactive MLS All-Star selection in 2013 and 2016.
Coming off a record-setting 2017 campaign, tallying 21 goals and 11 assists, Valeri, 32, is currently in his sixth season with the Timbers. The midfielder leads the Timbers in regular-season goals scored (6) this season, while also ranking tied for the team lead in assists (3) in 14 games played (14 starts). With the six-goal production, Valeri, the Timbers club leader in goals scored and assists across all eras (since 1975), extended his MLS career tally to 64 goals, while also extending his assist output to 56.
2018 MLS All-Star Fan XI
Goalkeepers: Brad Guzan (Atlanta United)
Defenders: Michael Parkhurst (Atlanta United), Laurent Ciman (Los Angeles Football Club), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)
Midfielders: Miguel Almirón (Atlanta United), Ezequiel Barco (Atlanta United), Darlington Nagbe (Atlanta United), Diego Valeri (Portland Timbers)
Forwards: Josef Martínez (Atlanta United), Zlatan Ibrahimović (LA Galaxy), Carlos Vela (Los Angeles Football Club – EA SPORTS™“More Than a Vote” Challenge)