Diego Valeri

Portland has been amazing not just for Diego Valeri, but also for his daughter

Portland has been amazing not just for Diego Valeri, but also for his daughter

Portland Timbers midfielder. 2015 MLS Champion. 2015 MLS Cup MVP. MLS Newcomer of the Year in 2013. MLS MVP in 2017. Four-time MLS All-Star selection. 

Husband and father.

When Diego Valeri signed with a club in the United States back in 2013, the 34-year-old footballer from Argentina knew this was going to be a huge decision for not just himself but for his family. Since then, he has made quite the name for himself not just in Portland, Oregon, but in the MLS.

But the importance of family still remains at the forefront of his decisions.

Valeri speaks out about his relationship with his daughter.

She’s my one and only and we have a great relationship and everyday she surprises me. She’s growing up a lot, so fast. We talk a lot about our situation as a family. It’s really hard, athletes and soccer. The dynamic of changes, of decisions, it’s not easy… We’re very involved here. She is very involved here and I love that. It’s a great opportunity for us to that possibility and for her. — Diego Valeri

[Listen to the Talkin’ Blazers Podcast with hosts NBA Champion Channing Frye and Emmy Award winner Dan Sheldon and special guest Portland Timbers midfielder Diego Valeri].

It’s been seven years since the Valeri’s came to Portland, and rest assured, the family has very much enjoyed it.

We are now enjoying it and see her growing… Our decision to come to Portland has been amazing for us as a family. — Diego Valeri

Enjoy more in the video above.

Happy Father’s Day from NBC Sports Northwest!

Diego Valeri calls games without Timbers Army 'a challenge' for players

Diego Valeri calls games without Timbers Army 'a challenge' for players

When Diego Valeri arrived in Portland in 2013 from Andalusia, Spain, he started from zero.

The Portland Timbers midfielder, who is from Argentina, didn’t know a single soul, the language and the habits of the City of Roses. But luckily his teammates and new friends along the way helped him adjust to Portland, the city he proudly calls his home after seven seasons with the Timbers. 

In a recent episode of the Talkin’ Blazers podcast with NBA champion Channing Frye and Emmy Award-winning co-host Dan Sheldon, Valeri talked about how he’s been dealing with quarantine, soccer’s popularity in Argentina and his thoughts on soccer returning without the Timbers Army. 

Yeah that’s gonna be horrible for one side. That’s going to be a challenge for a lot of guys, for everybody actually. The energy, all the feelings you have, the changes of states with the noise, with the rhythm of the game. It’s gonna be something new almost, so we have to be very focused on it.

Valeri’s not new to change. Many aspects, including his growing knowledge of the game of soccer, have come in his time with the Timbers. 

In just his first season, Valeri took home the coveted MLS Newcomer of the Year Award. Two years later, the Timbers won the 2015 Western Conference Final and 2015 MLS Cup, while Valeri earned the MLS Cup Most Valuable Player award. 

He was crucial in helping Portland reach first-place in the 2017 Western Conference title race and once again took home some hardware. This time, the Landon Donovan MLS MVP Award for the league’s Most Valuable Player. 

Valeri, who has 78 goals and 81 assists in 213 regular-season matches, is on the verge of reaching the 80-goal, 80-assist club. But for Valeri, it’s about more than reaching career milestones. He wants to help his team accomplish big things as well. 

I’m 34 and it’s not easy. I try to take care of everything to be on that level, obviously for the team, for me and for all the confidence the team puts in me …I always try to say, for me it makes me happy, personally, but the whole team, whole club still growing, is way more happy for me.

While Valeri and the rest of MLS await their date to return to play, Valeri is spending a lot working out, reading, playing the guitar and enjoying extra time with wife Florencia and daughter Connie.

He’s also looking forward to the NBA getting back in action as well and said he enjoys watching the Portland Trail Blazers. 

“Actually, I live very close to the Moda Center and I went a lot of times to watch them play,” Valeri said. “I love it, I love it. A very couple of good games against Golden State.”

Be sure to check out the full Talkin’ Blazers Podcast with host NBA Champion Channing Frye and Emmy Award winner Dan Sheldon, and Timbers midfielder Diego Valeri. 

Goals from Diego Valeri, Andy Polo edge Timbers over Whitecaps

Goals from Diego Valeri, Andy Polo edge Timbers over Whitecaps

It’s just the preseason, but every win the Portland Timbers can get over their Cascadia foes, the Vancouver Whitecaps, is a confidence builder. 

Portland, playing the first of three preseason matches in the Timbers Preseason Tournament, emerged victorious in a rivalry match against Vancouver on Sunday in front of a crowd of 13,882 at Providence Park. Diego Valeri and Andy Polo notched goals in the 2-1 victory to help the Timbers improve to 4-0 leading up to their March 1 season opener.

In the 34th minute, Felipe Mora was was pulled down on the edge of the six-yard box. Valeri stepped to the box, hammering in a shot to the upper left corner and converted the penalty kick for the Timbers first goal at Providence Park this season. All Hail Valeri, who now has the most preseason goals of any Timbers player with 10 goals. 

Less than 20 seconds into the second half, Polo, via a pass from Valeri, had the go-ahead goal from the near right edge of the box to give Portland its second goal of the match and 2-1 lead over Vancouver.

This was Polo’s first goal of the 2020 preseason and third in three-consecutive preseason matchups.  

The Timbers are now 4-0-0 in the 2020 preseason with a game against Minnesota United FC up next Wednesday, Feb. 19. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. at Providence Park. 

Diego Valeri signs contract extension with Portland Timbers

Diego Valeri signs contract extension with Portland Timbers

Good news for soccer fans in the Rose City - franchise star Diego Valeri and the team have agreed to a contract extension, the team announced Monday. 

Valeri, 33, has been with the club since 2013 and is one of the greatest players to ever wear the green and gold. In the MLS era, he is the team's leading goal scorer (76), the leader in assists (81) and the leader in total points (233). He also scored one of the most famous goals in franchise and MLS history, putting the TImbers up 1-0 in just twenty-six seconds into the 2015 MLS Cup. He would go on to win the MLS Cup MVP after leading Portland to its first and only title. 

Via the official press release from the team, general manager Gavin WIlkinson said: 

Diego is a Timbers legend and we couldn’t be happier that he and his family will remain in the Rose City... Not only has Diego been a leader in MLS over his career, he has become a local icon who is tremendously important to the club, the fans and the City of Portland. We look forward to raising another Cup with him.

Head Coach Giovanni Savarese added: 

Re-signing Diego was one of our priorities ahead of the upcoming season and we feel delighted to have been able to keep him in our roster... Diego is a unique player both on and off the field and his experience and leadership will help us to further extend the team’s winning culture.

There were a lot of questions regarding Valeri's status at the end of last season. Would he return? Did the team want him back? Are we watching the end of an era? Thanks to the news Monday, we have a solid answer. El Maestro ain't going nowhere. 

I am happy to extend my contract with the Portland Timbers... I would like to thank all the people involved to make it happen as I always expected. I have a special mention for Florencia, Connie and our fans who have warmly supported me throughout the years. It’s an immense honor to play for them. - Diego Valeri

 

Controversial end robs Timbers of pivotal victory

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USA Today

Controversial end robs Timbers of pivotal victory

For 90 minutes and some change, the Timbers dominated and led New England. But second-half stoppage time seemed to go on forever and controversy handed the Revolution the game-tying goal. 

As the clock hit 90 minutes, the fourth referee indicated there would be a minimum of four minutes of stoppage time. Usually, the refs stay close to that number. But not this night.

The two teams would end up playing almost nine minutes of extra time, and it was those extra five that doomed the Timbers. 

Fans at Providence Park anticipated the whistle after a New England corner kick in the 94th minute, but instead, the two squads would play on. During the ensuing New England attack there appeared to be a foul in the box. However, the referee didn't blow his whistle. Bullet dodged... nope. After what felt like minutes of action the refs finally blew his whistle to indicate a video review. The review led to a New England penalty kick. The penalty kick led to New England tying the game. The tie led to Portland watching a pivotal three-points slip away. 

The call itself was controversial. The time it took the ref to call for the review was controversial. The end result, was, wait for it... controversial. 

Portland could have ended the night in fifth place with two games remaining. Instead, they find themselves in seventh place, a tie with FC Dallas, and in real danger of ending the season below the red line. 

Next up, Sporting Kansas City, one of the worst teams in the Western Conference and the last team Portland beat. Three points are there for the taking, and unless a controversial stoppage-time call keeps Portland at bay, the Timbers should to rise to the occasion. 

Kickoff is set for 4:30 pm on Sunday, September 29th in Kansas City. 

Finally back on the board

Even in a controversial result, there can be a silver lining. It took nearly three weeks, but the Timbers finally were able to get back on the scoreboard. Portland picked up a 2-1 victory over Sporting Kansas City on September 7th, but since then had been held scoreless in three straight matches. It took 49 minutes, but Jeremy Ebobisse finally gave the Timbers Army a reason to let off the green and gold smoke. 

Ebobisse would go on to score a brace on the night, which is usually a sign of a side that picked up the victory, but you already know how this one unfolded

#AUnitedFront

After months of back and forth, Major League Soccer finally sided with the fans and lifted a ban on the Iron Front symbol. The Symbol has been at the center of a heated debate between free speech and political ideology. 

Fans used it to take a stand against fascism and racism, while the league said it violated a ban on political symbols due to it being linked to the far-left group Antifa. 

After much debate with supporters, the league decided to lift the ban for the remainder of the season while they worked with supporters on a revised code of conduct. 

Said Mark Abbott, MLS president and deputy commissioner, “as part of this decision to update the Fan Code of Conduct for 2020, MLS has suspended the prohibition on the Iron Front imagery at matches for the balance of the 2019 season and MLS Cup Playoffs while the working group conducts its analysis."

Sun setting on Valeri?

Following tonight's match, the Timbers have just one home game left on the regular-season schedule. Usually, this would lead to excitement as the Timbers prepare for another deep run in the playoffs. However, this time around they have something else weighing heavy on the mind - Will it be the last home match for superstar Diego Valeri?

Valeri is in the final guaranteed year of his contract, and according to reports from Taylor Twellman of ESPN, negotiations between Valeri and the club had stalled. 

The Timbers have an option to pick up his contract for 2020, but according to those reports Valeri was hoping for a new two-year deal. While he wanted to sign a deal before the summer, the team wanted to see how he held up physically through the season. 

With no new deal signed, and the Timbers looking at options for 2020, it could mean that the end of Valeri's storied career with the Timbers is coming to a close. 

Valeri is 33-years old, but this season he has shown he has plenty of gas left in the tank. If his time in Portland is indeed coming to an end, it means saying goodbye to one of the greatest Timbers of all time. 

 

 

 

Timbers stand tall on a rain-soaked Saturday

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USA Today

Timbers stand tall on a rain-soaked Saturday

Composure: A calmness or repose especially of mind, bearing, or appearance. The ability to stay in control of oneself.

This simple word is perhaps the biggest reason the Timbers came out victorious on Saturday. Not only because they had it, but they were able to keep it.

As the first half drew to a close a Vancouver defender appeared to clear the ball by deflecting a header with his hand. What should have resulted in a penalty kick for the Timbers instead turned into nothing for the home team. A few moments later the whistle blew and instead of Portland possibly being up 2-1, the two teams headed to the locker room tied at 1-1.

Frustration felt like it was about to boil over. Heavier than the monsoon were the boos raining down on the referee. Head coach Gio Savarese confronted the referee on their way to the locker room and made sure to get his two cents in. As he walked to the Timbers' tunnel the crowd erupted in a chant of "Gio-Gio-Gio."

The energy was electric. The Timbers Army was at a tipping point. But the Timbers weren't. They simply were ready to take care of business in the second half. Why? Composure.

Diego Valeri said one big reason the team kept its composure, kept its focus, is because they knew there was plenty of game left to be played.

"Knowing that we have to manage the whole game. It's 90 minutes," said Valeri. "At home, we know that winning duels, being aggressive without the ball and patient with it, we will dominate the game."

Keeping the focus on the task at hand, not that calls that were and were not made was something Savarese hammered home at halftime.

"I told the guys what I always tell them. Just make sure we don't those things frustrate us. That we need to continue to play. That we need to make sure that we don't think about what happens and the decisions that the referee is going to make. We have to do our game and get the job done."

The team had their ears on when Savarese told them this because in the second half the team got the job done. An absolute dart from Marvin Loria in the 55' gave the Timbers the 2-1 lead, then in the 90' Jeremy Ebobisse put the nail in the coffin.

Portland grabbed a big win over a Cascadia rival. They grabbed an ever-important three points to add to the table. And they did it all by keeping their composure, something often easier said than done. 

Next up: Portland stays at home for the second of a ten-game homestand to take on the Chicago Fire. Kickoff is set for 8:00 pm on Wednesday, August 14th.

 

CASCADIA WIN! Timbers' four first half goals beats Seattle 4-2

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CASCADIA WIN! Timbers' four first half goals beats Seattle 4-2

PORTLAND, Ore. – Behind four first half goals, the Portland Timbers defeated the Seattle Sounders FC 4-2 Sunday afternoon at Providence Park. VytasFanendo AdiLucas Melano, andSteven Taylor all found the score sheet in the first 45 minutes to propel the hosts to victory.

With the victory, Portland (9-10-8, 35 points) moves three points clear of the red line in the MLS Western Conference standings. The goals for Portland started in the 16th minute when Vytas put the home side ahead when he turned a Jack Jewsbury corner kick home with a powerful header for his first-ever Timbers goal. 

Just five minutes later, Adi scored his team-leading 13th goal of the season when he put home a saved Diego Valeri shot. The goal was the seventh career goal for the striker against Seattle, tying him with Byron Alvarez for the most career goals by a Timbers player against the Sounders in the 41-year history of the rivalry. 

Portland scored their third of the match in the 29th minutes when a beautiful passing sequence culminated in Diego Chara finding Lucas Melano inside the six-yard box. Melano made no mistake finishing with his left foot for his third goal of the season. 

In his second match as Timbers player, Steven Taylor culminated an historic first half when he headed home a Valeri free kick.  The goal gave Portland four goals for the first half, which set a club record for most goals in the first half of an MLS match. The Sounders added two goals in the second half coming from a deflected Andreas Ivanschitz goal in the 47th minute and a header from Jordan Morris in the 51st minute but it wasn't enough to overcome Portland's early dominance. 

Portland Timbers (9-10-8, 35pts) vs. Seattle Sounders FC (9-13-4, 31pts) 
Aug. 28, 2016 – Providence Park (Portland, Ore.)

Goals by Half                1          2          F 
Portland Timbers           4          0          4
Seattle Sounders FC     0          2          2          

Scoring Summary:
POR: Vytas (Jewsbury), 16
POR: Adi, 21
POR: Melano (Chara, Valeri), 29
POR: S. Taylor (Valeri), 43
SEA: Ivanschitz (Lodeiro), 47
SEA: Morris (Lodeiro, Ivanschitz), 51

Misconduct Summary: 
SEA: Lodeiro (Caution), 26
SEA: Ivanschitz (Caution), 45
SEA: Jones (Caution), 78
SEA: Valdez (Caution), 90

Lineups & Stats:
POR: GK Gleeson, D Powell, D S. Taylor, D Ridgewell ©, D Vytas, M Chara (Zemanski, 90), M Jewsbury, M Nagbe, M Valeri, M Melano (Grabavoy, 83), F Adi

Substitutes Not Used: GK Konopka, D J. Taylor, M Barmby, F Mattocks, F McInerney

TOTAL SHOTS: 15 (Adi, 6); SHOTS ON GOAL: 8 (Three players tied, 2); FOULS: 11 (Vytas, 3); OFFSIDES: 1; CORNER KICKS: 3; SAVES: 1

SEA: GK Frei, D Mears (Torres, 45), D Marshall, D Evans ©, D Jones, M Roldan, M Alonso, M Fernandez (Gomez, 45), M Lodeiro, M Ivanschitz (Valdez, 82), F Morris

Substitutes Not Used: GK Miller, D Scott, M Friberg, M Fisher

TOTAL SHOTS: 16 (Morris, 5); SHOTS ON GOAL: 3 (Morris, 2); FOULS: 16 (Two players tied, 3); OFFSIDES: 1; CORNER KICKS: 1; SAVES: 4

Referee: Hilario Grajeda
Assistant Referees: Frank Anderson, Jeff Hosking
4th Official: Alex Chilowicz
Attendance: 21,144
Weather: Clear, 80 degrees

All statistics contained in this box score are unoffic

Timbers score three second half goals to blow past Sporting Kansas City

Timbers score three second half goals to blow past Sporting Kansas City

The Portland Timbers played host to Sporting Kansas City (SKC) on Sunday, and at the risk of sounding cliché, it was a true “tale of two halves” for the home team.

Portland came out flat in the first half, looking somewhat listless. SKC, on the other hand, came out very aggressive and looking to control the game. The plan paid off early for SKC, when Portland midfielder Diego Chara let his emotions get the best of him.

After taking a hard, intentional elbow from Benny Feilhaber, Chara retaliated with a shove/slap to the face. The shove to Fielhaber was uncalled for, but it was the sell by Feilhaber that got Chara in trouble. A soft shove to the face and a world class flop by Feilhaber netted Chara a red card in only the twelfth minute of action. One has to believe that if not for the epic acting job from Feilhaber, Chara would have just been shown a yellow. Instead, Chara was shown the door, and the Timbers had to play a man down the rest of the way.

Coach Porter shifted the lineup, as is to be expected, loading the backline, moving Jack McIneney up, and letting Fanendo Adi play solo on the attack. The move to load up defensively and try to absorb the SKC punches paid off.

For the next 27 minutes of action the Timbers defense was able to keep SKC off the board. Unable to break through despite being a man up started to get to the Kansas City players. Much like what happened to Chara early on, the emotions boiled over for Kansas City and resulted in another player heading to the showers early. This time it was Soni Mustivar.

Mustivar came in hard on Diego Valeri, not making a play on the ball, and ended up spiking Valeri in the hip. Valeri flipped to the turf, and Mustivar was shown a red card.  Halftime came up and it was a 0-0 tie, and an even 10 vs. 10, two results no one would have expected with how the game played out early.

Once Mustivar was shown the door, the momentum fully shifted to the Timbers. In the second half the Timbers looked like an entirely different team. The offense was smooth and aggressive, and Portland had SKC on its heels. In the 65th minute Deigo Valeri would not only knock on SKC’s door, he would knock it down.

Valeri was in the right place at the right time, deep in the box as the ball landed right at his feet. The Argentinian coiled up and struck, scoring the game’s first goal; a goal that turned out to be the eventual game winner.

Portland then sat back and controlled the game, kept SKC at bay, before letting loose in the final minutes of the game. Jack Jewsbury would score in the 87th minute, and Adi added another in stoppage time.

A week after losing to SKC in Kansas City the Timbers responded in big way on their own home turf.

Final Score: Timbers 3 – Sports Kansas City 0

Man of the Match: In the “let me put on my shocked face” category, the game ball goes to Diego Valeri. Valeri, as has been the case lately, was in top form. He controlled the pace of play for the Timbers, and as noted earlier scored the game-winning goal. It seems like any time the Timbers need someone to step up in a big way, Valeri answers the call. On a side note, Darlington Nagbe was right up there with Valeri for Man of the Match. Nagbe really stepped up and took control after Chara was sent off, and his assist on Jewsbury’s goal was one of the best all season.

Stats and Notes: Portland outscored Kansas City 3-0 despite being outshot 11-8… Kansas City had 13 corner kicks, Portland had zero. At one point SKC took 5 consecutive corner kicks… Defensively the Timbers were strong, totaling 19 clearances… Portland only controlled the ball for 28% of the match… The two teams combined for four cards, one red card on each side, and two yellow cards for SKC.

Next Up: Portland heads to the nation’s capital to take on D.C. United, Saturday, August 13th. Kickoff is set for 4:00pm PST.