Timbers acquire Argentine playmaker Valeri on loan as Designated Player

The former Porto and Atletico Lanus midfielder joins Portland on loan for the 2013 MLS season.
The Portland Timbers signed Argentine playmaker Diego Valeri as a Designated Player Thursday, acquiring the 26-year-old veteran on loan from Atletico Lanus in his native country.

Valeri spent last season with Atletico Lanus, where he was the captain during his second stint with the club (he played there from 2003-09 as well). Valeri has also played for Portuguese power FC Porto and Spanish club Almeria, and he brings a strong pedigree and level of experience with him to Jeld-Wen Field.

Valeri has experience playing in the UEFA Champions League, Copa Libertadores and Copa Sudamericana, and he has three caps for the Argentina national team. In 158 matches in Argentina's top flight, Valeri scored 25 goals.

“Valeri is a tremendous acquisition, and his desire to join the Portland Timbers was an integral part in getting him on loan," Timbers general manager Gavin Wilkinson said in a team statement. "At his age and with his ability, we expect to be in a position to purchase this player and make him a permanent fixture in Portland."

Valeri's loan comes with a prearranged buy option at the end of the season. Terms of his deal were not disclosed per league and club policy.

"Diego Valeri is certainly a tremendous addition to the Timbers and will bring quality and creativity to our attack,” Timbers head coach Caleb Porter said. "We expect he will be one of the better playmakers in the league, but more importantly Diego fits our identity and his play should boost production to help the club win games."

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