Diego Valeri is MVP of MLS
It wasn't close.
Portland Timbers midfielder Diego Valeri was named MVP of MLS on Monday, capping a sparkling season for the 31-year-old from Argentina.
Valeri finished with more than 50 percent of the vote to easily win the 2017 Landon Donovan MLS Most Valuable Player honor. He is the first Timbers player to win the MVP.
The award was based on voting by players, club management, and media members. Valeri had 45.42 percent of players' votes, 51.19 percent from team managment, and 55.52 percent of the media vote. Valeri's overall average was 50.71 percent.
David Villa of New York City FC finished second with 16.4 percent of all votes.
Valeri is the sixth player from South America and the third Argentine (Christian Gómez in 2006, Guillermo Barros Schelotto in 2008) to win the MLS MVP award.
To review, in 2017 Valeri:
• Scored a career-high 21 goals, which ranked third in the league.
• His 21 goals are a league record for goals by a midfielder, bettering the 18 goals scored by Preki in 1996, the league's first season.
• Scored a goal against 15 of the 21 other teams in MLS, and had a goal or assist against 19 of them. Only against Atlanta and Columbus, teams the Timbers faced once, did Valeri not get onto the scoresheet.
• Delivered seven game-winning goals.
• Had 11 assists.
• His 32 combined goals and assists led the league and were the fifth most ever in a single MLS season.
• Scored in a league-record nine consecutive matches, two more than the previous record. He scored 10 goals during that stretch, helping the Timbers to a 5-2-2 mark between July 29 and Sept. 24 and made up for the injury absence of striker Fanendo Adi.
• Scored in 17 of the 32 regular-season matches he played.
• Was selected to the MLS Team of the Week nine times, more than any other player.
• Made the MLS Best XI for the third time in his five seasons in the league.
• Made the MLS All-Star Game team for the fourth time in five years.
Valeri also is rising up career charts:
• His 58 goals in 148 regular-season games with the Timbers makes him the club's top goal scorer for all eras dating to the 1975 North American Soccer League Timbers,
• With 58 goals and 53 assists in 148 regular-season games make Valeri the third-fastest player in MLS history to reach 50 goals and 50 assists.
MLS MVP award winners
2017 — Diego Valeri, Portland Timbers
2016 — David Villa, New York City FC
2015 — Sebastian Giovinco, Toronto FC
2014 — Robbie Keane, L.A. Galaxy
2013 — Mike Magee, Chicago Fire
2012 — Chris Wondolowski, San Jose Earthquakes
2011 — Dwayne De Rosario, D.C. United
2010 — David Ferreira, FC Dallas
2009 — Landon Donovan, L.A. Galaxy
2008 — Guillermo Barros Schelotto, Columbus Crew
2007 — Luciano Emilio, D.C. United
2006 — Christian Gómez, D.C. United
2005 — Taylor Twellman, New England Revolution
2004 — Amado Guevara, MetroStars
2003 — Preki, Kansas City Wizards
2002 — Carlos Ruiz, L.A. Galaxy
2001 — Alex Pineda Chacón, Miami Fusion
2000 — Tony Meola, Kansas City Wizards
1999 — Jason Kreis, Dallas Burn
1998 — Marco Etcheverry, D.C. United
1997 — Preki, Kansas City Wizards
1996 — Carlos Valderrama, Tampa Bay Mutiny