The Portland Timbers are bringing back their fan-favorite former MVP winner on a new, long-term contract.
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The Timbers announced on Monday that it had agreed to a multi-year contract, using target allocation money (TAM) with Diego Valeri. The news ends a months-long saga that had fans fearing Valeri could leave as a free agent this winter. Valeri was reportedly still seeking Designated Player level money, so it took some financial maneuvering with TAM to make this deal work.
Valeri has seen his goal numbers drop significantly the last couple of seasons since his 21 goals in 2017, but he did have 16 assists last year. However, at age 33, you wonder how much more he has left in the tank.
Either way, it’s a huge boost to the Timbers that Valeri is back. He’s a fixture in Portland, he makes this team better, and now the Timbers can focus on adding more attacking pieces to their squad. There’s two Designated Player slots open and the Timbers are usually open to spending big on a signing. Now, the attention turns to a new Designated Player coming this month or in January.
Here’s some more news across MLS:
Report: Brazilian club Gremio interested in Martinez
It’s safe to say that Gonzalo “Pity” Martinez’s first season in MLS didn’t exactly go to plan.
Now, if the reports are true, he could find his way back to South America, albeit not to his former club River Plate. According to TYC Sports, Brazilian club Gremio are interested in adding Martinez for their 2020 season. Gremio finished in fourth place in Brazil’s Serie A Championship this past season, earning them entry into the 2020 Copa Libertadores as well.
Should Martinez want to head back to South America, he could do worse than joining one of Brazil’s giant clubs and getting the chance to play in the Copa Libertadores.
Should Martinez stay, he could take advantage from a full preseason with Atlanta United and potentially a better relationship with coach Frank De Boer. The two clashed at times last year.