4. Diego Valeri
Diego Valeri is here to stay, and his signed extension with the Portland Timbers may have been one of the most important deals to be done of the offseason. It is hugely significant that Portland have a former league MVP and Designated Player to take a TAM deal to stay in Portland and free up some space for a newer, young talented player to come in.
Now, contract talk aside, Valeri is 33 years old and has seen his production and playing time decrease since his 2017 MVP-winning season. The difference in playing time is minute in the grand scheme of a season, 2,747 minutes in 2018 compared to 2,600 minutes in 2019. But his goalscoring has taken a hit since netting 21 back in 2017. He scored just eight last year.
Maybe Valeri’s double-digit goalscoring days are behind him, but he recorded an MLS career-high 16 assists with some very underrated strikers beside him in the Timbers attack after the suspension of former designated player Brian Fernandez. Either way, he is still a high impact player who brings elite playmaking ability and experience to a Portland squad that has reinforced their attack this offseason.