Diego Valeri Named 2017 MLS MVP
Diego Valeri has been crowned 2017 MLS Landon Donovan Most Valuable Player Award following an outstanding season in Oregon for Portland Timbers.
The Argentine netted 21 goals and tallied 11 assists in a season where star striker Fanendo Adi was largely unavailable due to injury.
Valeri, who joined Timbers back in 2013, turned 31 this year and conceded the year hadn't been a walk in the park.
"I'm 31 years old and it's not easy, MLS has a lot of great players and I never expected this.”
"I'm surprised about it. Sadly, I had a lot of injuries in my career, so probably my 31 is 35," he later added with a laugh. "So I'm surprised, but happy surprised."
2017 also saw the MVP score in 9 consecutive games, a new MLS record whilst he is also only the second MVP to reach 20 goals and 11 assists in a single season.
Spoilt for choice all over the field, Valeria says his Timbers team mates are a big factor in his award, too. "Every individual award in our game is a collective achievement – that's why this is for every one of my teammates. Since Blanco arrived here, he used to work with a nutritionist and osteopath in Spain and they are helping us," Valeri said. "They are helping us to know what kind of food is helpful for us and what kind of food is not."
Players, club representatives and journalists alike, all voted unanimously for Valeri to pick up the award and Landon Donovan himself said his performances were "inspirational."
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