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Diego Valeri signs extension, makes us all very happy

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El Maestro signs multi-year extension as a Designated Player

Portland Timbers v FC Dallas - Western Conference Finals - Leg 2 Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

For those us at Stumptown Footy, it’s not much of a take to say things like “our entire offense depends on Diego Valeri” or “the Timbers attack is benign without Valeri on the field” or even “Diego Valeri, your soccer skills make me weak at the knees, please make sweet love to me.” We all know the importance of El Maestro.

And we can keep hold onto the knowledge securely knowing that he is here to stay. The Timbers signed Valeri to a multi-year extension as a designated player today. Length and salary amounts were not disclosed (EDIT: it’s reportedly through 2019), but I imagine negotiations went something like this:

This is Valeri’s second multi-year extension in his time with the Timbers after his 2013 contract when the club officially purchased his rights. Valeri’s willingness to stay in Portland shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone, given how his family has embraced the city, and become woven into the tapestry of the community.

Obligatory highlight video:

Official Press Release:

For immediate release: Aug. 10, 2016

TIMBERS SIGN MIDFIELDER DIEGO VALERI TO CONTRACT EXTENSION

PORTLAND, Ore. – The Portland Timbers today announced that the club has signed midfielder Diego Valeri to a contract extension as a Designated Player.

The Timbers leader in points (106) and assists (40) during their MLS era, Valeri, 30, ranks second in points and fourth in assists in club history across all eras (since 1975), logging 8,511 minutes in 106 appearances (100 starts) with Portland. Scoring 33 goals since joining the Timbers in 2013, Valeri has produced the second-most goals during Portland’s MLS era, while ranking first for shots (316) and shots on target (117). Additionally, Valeri has recorded the most assists of any player in MLS since the beginning of the 2013 season (40).

Valeri’s honors with the Timbers include back-to-back MLS Best XI recognition (2013, 2014), MLS Newcomer of the Year (2013), along with Timbers Player’s Player of the Year (2014) and Supporters’ Player of the Year (2014), while earning the team’s Golden Boot in the 2013 and 2014 campaigns. A three-time MLS All-Star honoree, Valeri delivered the game-winning assist in the 2014 AT&T MLS All-Star game against FC Bayern Munich at Providence Park, propelling the MLS All-Stars to a 2-1 victory.

In 2016, Valeri has scored 10 times for the Timbers, while recording five assists in 20 games (20 starts), ranking seventh in MLS for goals scored and second for chances created including assists (74). In the Timbers last four games across all competitions, Valeri has recorded four goals, including two game-winning goals, scoring in the 90th minute against C.D. Dragon in CONCACAF Champions League play on Aug. 3, before producing the Timbers’ opening goal in the 65th minute of a 3-0 win against Sporting Kansas City on Aug. 7.

Logging 1,713 minutes in 22 regular-season games (20 starts) last season, Valeri started and played in five matches in the postseason, scoring the quickest goal in MLS Cup history and earning MLS Cup MVP honors in a 2-1 win over Columbus Crew SC on Dec. 6. Overall, Valeri recorded four assists during the MLS Cup Playoffs, including a pair of assists against FC Dallas in the second leg of the Western Conference Semifinals on Nov. 29, which was tied for the most in the postseason.

Transaction: Portland Timbers sign midfielder Diego Valeri to a contract extension as a Designated Player.

-- visit www.timbers.com