After an other-worldly 2017 season in which he became the just second MLS to tally more than 20 goals and 10 assists, Portland Timbers midfield maestro Diego Valeri was today recognized at the Adidas North American headquarters as the league's most valuable player.
Valeri was also named the Timbers' Players' Player of the Year, the Supporters' Players of the Year, and the club's Community MVP for service work in the greater Portland area.
In addition to his gaudy final numbers, Valeri broke the MLS record for most consecutive games with a goal scored when he rattled off goals in nine straight games between the end of July and the middle of September. Valeri scored at least once in every month of the season, and led all players by being named to the MLS Team of the Week nine time.
Per Mike Donovan, Valeri is the first MVP in Timbers history and the city of Portland's first MVP of a major league since Bill Walton won the NBA award in 1978.
Valeri won the award in a landslide — finishing with more than 50 percent of the vote complied by players, clubs, and media members, with New York City FC's David Villa finishing second with just over 16 percent. No other player finished with more than 10 percent.
The margin of Valeri's victory was, along with the hardware, a fitting testament a player who stood head and shoulders above anyone else in MLS in 2017.
It was a joy to watch.