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Diego Valeri Makes the MLS Best XI, Obviously

Maybe you have heard that "The Maestro", Diego Valeri, is pretty good at soccer? Yeah, word is starting to get around.

Steve Dykes-USA TODAY Sports

Valeri put in another huge year for the Portland Timbers in 2014, coming back from offseason surgery to lead the team in goals and assists for the second year running. Following on the back of his "Newcomer of the Year"-winning season in 2013, Valeri continued to show that he is one of the best in the league.

He made the All-Star Team, again.

He was named the Players' Player of the Year.

He was named the Supporters' Player of the Year.

He did this:

And this:

And this:

In short, The Maestro is one bad dude.

Which makes it all the more unfortunate that he will be out for the beginning of the season due to the torn ACL that he suffered in the final match of the 2014 season. Still, Rodney Wallace came back strong from a torn ACL this year and won the Comeback Player of the Year Award for 2014, so we will see if Valeri can do it next season.

The Timbers' press release:


PORTLAND, Ore. – Portland Timbers midfielder Diego Valeri was named to Major League Soccer’s 2014 Best XI, it was announced today.

The recognition marks the second consecutive year in which Valeri has been selected to the MLS Best XI list after earning the league’s Newcomer of the Year award and a Best XI honor during his debut MLS season in 2013.

In his second season with the Timbers, Valeri, 28, established Timbers MLS-club single-season record marks with 11 goals and 14 assists, including three multi-assist performances. His 14 assists ranked second overall in MLS this season. During the 2014 campaign, Valeri became the Timbers MLS career leader in goals (21) and assists (27) and was named the club’s Players' Player of the Year and Supporters' Player of the Year.

An MLS All-Star selection in each of his first two seasons in MLS, Valeri also became the first Timbers MLS player to compile consecutive seasons with at least 10 or more goals and assists, while his 36 points (11g, 14a) during the regular season ranks as the third-most points in a single season in Timbers history across all eras.

In addition to being named to the Best XI, Valeri is one of three players nominated for the Premios Univision Deportes MLS Player of the Year, which will be announced on Dec. 18.

This year, MLS players, club leadership, and media members voted one goalkeeper, three defenders, four midfielders and three forwards to the Best XI. 

2014 MLS Best XI (listed in alphabetical order within each position)
Goalkeeper – Bill Hamid (D.C. United)
Defender – Bobby Boswell (D.C. United)
Defender – Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy)
Defender – Chad Marshall (Seattle Sounders FC)
Midfielder – Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy)
Midfielder – Thierry Henry (New York Red Bulls)
Midfielder – Lee Nguyen (New England Revolution)
Midfielder – Diego Valeri (Portland Timbers)
Forward – Robbie Keane (LA Galaxy)
Forward – Obafemi Martins (Seattle Sounders FC)
Forward – Bradley Wright-Phillips (New York Red Bulls)