Diego Valeri sets a new MLS record by scoring in eight consecutive matches, this time scoring an equalizer for Portland at RSL.
Major League Soccer: Diego Valeri (15′) Portland Timbers 1-0 Orlando City

Diego Valeri was named Major League Soccer’s Most Valuable Player on Monday, after scoring 21 goals for the Portland Timbers in 2017.

Valeri, in his fifth season in Portland, is the first Timbers player to ever win the highest individual award in MLS.

The 31-year-old midfielder made headlines earlier this year by scoring in nine straight games from July to September, breaking the previous MLS record of seven.

His 21 goals were third in the league behind Chicago’s Nemanja Nikolic and New York City FC’s David Villa, but Valeri was much more efficient, netting his tally on 93 shots, compared to 118 for Nikolic and 136 for Villa.

Valeri also added 11 assists in 32 games, all starts, as Portland finished first in the Western Conference. He is just the second player to record at least 20 goals and 10 assists in the same year after Toronto FC’s Sebastian Giovinco in 2015.

Valeri won the player, club and media votes with an average of 50.7 percent, well ahead of Villa, who was second with 16.4 percent, and Nikolic (7.8 percent). Fellow finalist Giovinco was fourth (6 percent) and Atlanta United’s Miguel Almiron fifth (3.68 percent).

Last month, Valeri was named to the MLS Best XI for the third time in five years. He also won the Newcomer of the Year award in 2013 after joining Portland from Lanus in his native Argentina.

He is the third Argentine to win the MVP after Christian Gomez in 2006 and Guillermo Barros Schelotto in 2008.

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