The Argentine midfielder joined the Portland Timbers from Lanus in January and produced a stellar campaign as the Cascadia club made it to the Conference final where they were beaten by MLS Cup finalists Real Salt Lake.
Valeri, who previously played with Portuguese giants FC Porto, scored 11 goals and produced a league-high13 assists in 35 appearances for the Timbers to win the award from New England Revolution defender Jose Goncalves, Vancouver Whitecaps midfielder Nigel Reo-Coker and Colorado Rapids goalkeeper Clint Irwin.
Also named in the MLS Best XI earlier this week, Valeri admitted it was a major thrill to be voted as Major League Soccer’s bets new player.
“I was a champion in Argentina. I had a very good year in 2007. But this year for me all along was different because it’s a different country, a different league, and I think the success this year for me was maybe the most important of my career,” he told MLSsoccer.com.
“This award is great for me, made me happy, made me satisfied about my job and my work. Maybe in these next few days I can think about this year much better than now.”
For breaking stories and all the great banter like us on Facebook: facebook.com/tribalfootball