By all accounts, Diego Valeri is a fantastic playmaker on the field. The kind of magic he worked on the field Sunday night was probably more attuned to something we would expect to see in Europe, or even his native Argentina or Brazil, but certainly not MLS. And that is what makes Valeri unique, at his relatively young age he chose to come here instead of abroad.
MLSsoccer.com was able to get an exclusive interview with the player concerning why he came to MLS instead. I won't spoil the full article, but I did want to share one quote:
"I wanted badly to come here for the league, for how it's growing and for Portland ... The key was that Portland is a real serious organization," he said. "It's a club that has history although it's new to MLS. I liked the idea of coming here and to win things with the Timbers. Looking to the future, I was interested in that: to come here and to win things with the Timbers."
There's a whole lot more concerning his move from Club Atletico Lanus, his interactions with head coach and former MLS player Guillermo Barros Schelotto as well as the possibilities of him moving from Argentina to Brazil, Turkey, Mexico, or even another MLS team before the Timbers swooped him up.
All in all, it's a nice sentiment from Valeri. That said, you certainly wouldn't expect to hear him say anything but now that he's playing for the team. So take it with a small grain of salt, though I certainly believe he is being genuine. No matter how you look at it, playing in MLS can be a very unique opportunity.
Check out the full interview/article on MLSsoccer.com.
What do you think of Diego Valeri's thoughts on MLS and the Timbers?