After months of uncertainty — and of angst among the clubs' fans — the Portland Timbers announced on Monday they have signed Diego Valeri to a multi-year contract extension using targeted allocation money.
Terms of the deal were not announced.
The resolution means the Timbers' most celebrated player will remain with the team. That had been in doubt after reports surfaced late this season that the club and Valeri were at odds in negotiations on a contract extension.
The use of TAM for this agreement means Valeri will no longer be a Designated Player. The Timbers now have two open DP slots as they look to fortify their roster ahead of the 2020 season, which begins on March 1 at home against Minnesota United.
Valeri is Timbers leader in career goals (76) and assists (81) over seven MLS seasons in Portland. He is one of only three players in MLS history to record at least 10 goals and 10 assists in four regular seasons.
A native of Lanus, Argentina, Valeri will turn 34 on May 1.
His honors with the Timbers include winning the 2017 Landon Donovan MLS MVP award and the 2013 MLS Newcomer of the Year award. He has been selected to the league's Best XI following the 2013, 2014 and 2017 seasons.
"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," Timbers coach Giovanni Savarese, said in a prepared statement from the club. "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."
Fellow Argentine attacking midfielder Sebastian Blanco is the only DP on the current roster.
As of Dec. 16, the Timbers have 10 midfielders currently and a defender, Bill Tuiloma, with experience in midfield.
They only have one forward, so expect that to be where they spend Designated Player money.
You count on us to stay informed and we depend on you to fund our efforts. Quality local journalism takes time and money. Please support us to protect the future of community journalism.