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Diego Valeri Named to Major League Soccer’s The 25 Greatest

Photo by: Steve Dykes/Getty Images

From 137 nominees to 25 players, Diego Valeri aka El Maestro made the Major League Soccer list as one of The 25 Greatest.

Nearly 200 experts from across North America came together to decide which players deserved to be on the final list.

The MLS nomination committee looked for players who accomplished one or more of the following as an MLS player:

  • Received multiple league-wide individual honors such as: Best XI, Most Valuable Player, Golden Boot, Defender/Goalkeeper of the Year, All-Star selections
  • Won major team trophies such as: MLS Cup, Supporters’ Shield, U.S. Open Cup, international club competitions
  • Made extraordinary off-field contributions or impact
  • Ranked among the all-time leaders in key statistical areas

Diego Valeri meets several of those requirements.

MLS Cup? Check; not listed as consideration, but still impressive, he was MLS Cup MVP.

Multiple League-wide honors? Check; Best XI – three times (2013, 2014, 2017), All-Star – four times (2014, 2016, 2017, 2018) and Most Valuable Player (2017). Not mentioned in the list above, but still worth mentioning Valeri was MLS Newcomer of the Year in 2013.

Rank among all-time leader in key statistical areas? Check; Valeri is the all-time Timbers regular season leader in goals scored (84), assists (88) and points (256), and he ranks second in team history for games played (233) and starts (220) during the team’s MLS era. On a league-wide level, Valeri is 14th in regular season goals scored and 10th all-time in assists. He’s one of four players in MLS history to be in the Top 15 of goals scored and assists during regular-season play.

Other Diego Valeri stats of note:

  • Valeri became the third player to ever record 80 goals and 80 assists in their career during the regular season
  • He’s also the fourth player to record seven or more assists in eight consecutive seasons — joining Brad Davis and fellow The 25 Greatest honorees Preki and Marco Etcheverry
  • During his MVP season, Valeri set the Timbers team-record 21 goals and 11 assists. He also scored a goal in nine straight games, which was an MLS record at the time.
  • Valeri provided the game-winning assist in the 2014 All-Star Game when the MLS All-Stars beat FC Bayern Munich 2-1.

The 25 Greatest Full List

MLS notes that the players are not ranked. “They are all equally worthy of this prestigious honor.” (List in alphabetical order)

  • Jeff Agoos
  • Kyle Beckerman
  • David Beckham
  • Carlos Bocanegra
  • Dwayne De Rosario
  • Clint Dempsey
  • Landon Donovan
  • Marco Etcheverry
  • Robin Fraser
  • Sebastian Giovinco
  • Kevin Hartman
  • Cobi Jones
  • Robbie Keane
  • Chad Marshall
  • Josef Martinez
  • Tony Meola
  • Jaime Moreno
  • Eddie Pope
  • Preki
  • Steve Ralston
  • Nick Rimando
  • Carlos Valderrama
  • Diego Valeri
  • Chris Wondolowski
  • Bradley Wright-Phillips

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