Diego Valeri scored 21 goals and assisted on 11 others this season. (Photo courtesy of MLS)
PORTLAND, Ore. – Major League Soccer Monday named Portland Timbers midfielder Diego Valeri as the Landon Donovan MLS Most Valuable Player.
Valeri, who was the runaway winner, was presented the award during an event at adidas America headquarters.
He earned 50.71 percent of the vote, easily outdistancing runner-up David Villa of New York City FC, who accumulated 16.40 percent.
A key performer for Portland’s Western Conference crown during the regular season, Valeri’s breakout season was filled with historic achievements.
With 21 goals and 11 assists, Valeri became the second player in the league’s 22-year history to record at least 20 goals and 10 assists in the same season. His 32 combined goals and assists were tied for fifth-most in a season in MLS history.
Valeri’s unrivaled consistency plagued the opposition this season, scoring in nine consecutive games from July 29-Sept. 24, which set the MLS record for consecutive games with a goal. An MLS Cup MVP and four-time all-star, Valeri contributed at least a goal or an assist against 19 of 21 MLS teams this season. He also was the only player this season to net eight or more goals both at home and on the road.
A three-time selection to the MLS Best XI, Valeri reached the 50-goal, 50-assist plateau for his MLS league career Aug. 12. He was the 18th player to reach that milestone and the third-fastest in league history (in 139 games, behind Donovan and Jaime Moreno).
Portland’s all-time leading scorer with 58 career MLS goals, Valeri has scored in every calendar month of MLS competition dating back to April 2016, and hasn’t gone a month without a goal or an assist since March 2014.
Valeri is the first player from the Portland Timbers to be named league MVP, adding to his selection as the 2015 MLS Cup MVP. He is the seventh South American to be named MLS MVP, the third from Argentina, joining Christian Gómez (2006) and Guillermo Barros Schelotto (2008) on the world-class list of Argentinians who have contributed to MLS.
Below is a breakdown of the voting results.
|Most Valuable Player||Player||Club||Media||Total|
|Diego Valeri (POR)||45.42%||51.19%||55.52%||50.71%|
|David Villa (NYC)||9.52%||16.67%||23.01%||16.40%|
|Nemanja Nikolić (CHI)||6.59%||8.33%||8.59%||7.84%|
|Sebastian Giovinco (TOR)||7.69%||3.57%||6.75%||6.00%|
|Miguel Almirón (ATL)||5.86%||1.19%||3.99%||3.68%|
|Michael Bradley (TOR)||0.00%||9.52%||0.61%||3.38%|
|Josef Martínez (ATL)||5.13%||2.38%||2.15%||3.22%|
|Víctor Vázquez (TOR)||2.93%||1.19%||1.23%||1.78%|
All-Time MLS Most Valuable Players:
2017: Diego Valeri – Portland Timbers
2016: David Villa – New York City FC
2015: Sebastian Giovinco – Toronto FC
2014: Robbie Keane – LA Galaxy
2013: Mike Magee – Chicago Fire
2012: Chris Wondolowski – San Jose Earthquakes
2011: Dwayne De Rosario – D.C. United
2010: David Ferreira – FC Dallas
2009: Landon Donovan – LA Galaxy
2008: Guillermo Barros Schelotto – Columbus Crew
2007: Luciano Emilio – D.C. United
2006: Christian Gómez – D.C. United
2005: Taylor Twellman – New England Revolution
2004: Amado Guevara – MetroStars
2003: Preki – Kansas City Wizards
2002: Carlos Ruiz – LA Galaxy
2001: Alex Pineda Chacón – Miami Fusion
2000: Tony Meola – Kansas City Wizards
1999: Jason Kreis – Dallas Burn
1998: Marco Etcheverry – D.C. United
1997: Preki – Kansas City Wizards
1996: Carlos Valderrama – Tampa Bay Mutiny