The Portland Timbers announced today that fullback Zarek Valentin has signed a new deal with the club. He’s made 71 appearances from 2016 to 2018, including career highs in appearances (32), starts (30), and minutes played (2,721) in 2018.
Valentin appeared in 40 games across all competitions in 2018, including his first postseason appearance during the 2018 MLS Cup Playoffs. He would eventually make six appearances (5 starts) and log 457 minutes played as the Timbers advanced to their second MLS Cup final in four seasons. He was also Community MVP twice, in 2016 and then again this year.
Here’s what General Manager Gavin Wilkinson had to say about Valentin.
“Zarek is a superb professional and has been a tremendous addition to this club in every way,” said Gavin Wilkinson, general manager and president of soccer for the Timbers. “His desire to remain in Portland matched our desire to re-sign him, and we are delighted to keep him in Portland and look forward to his continued contributions.”
First year coach Giovanni Savarese also spoke highly of Valentin as well.
“Zarek played an important part in our success this season and we are very pleased to re-sign him,” said Giovanni Savarese, head coach of the Timbers. “He is an intelligent and versatile player for us, and one who consistently executes everything asked of him to benefit the team.”
Capable of playing either fullback position, Valentin was a valuable asset for Savarese in his first year at the helm. Valentin is a club guy through and through and bleeds green and gold.