Photo by ISIPhotos.com
By DAN KARELL
Major League Soccer Newcomer of the Year winner Diego Valeri may have been struggling with more than just an adductor injury late in the 2013 season.
The Portland Timbers announced on Wednesday that Valeri had undergone surgery to repair a bilateral sports hernia. The Timbers say that the Argentine playmaker is expected to recover fully in four to six weeks.
The 27-year-old Valeri had a terrific first season in MLS with the Timbers, winning the Newcomer of the Year award as well as being named to the MLS Best XI thanks to 11 goals and 13 assists this season. Valeri lead the Timbers to an impressive turnaround from last year, and earned the club first place in the Western Conference.
Though originally joining the Timbers as a Designated Player on loan from Lanus in Argentina, Valeri made his move permanent in August.
Here are some more stories from around MLS:
RAPIDS PART WAYS WITH CASTRILLON
Just more than 12 months removed from finishing as the Colorado Rapids leading goal scorer, Jaime Castrillon is on his way out of the club.
Rapids technical director Paul Bravo confirmed the news to ColoradoRapids.com that the Colombian midfielder will seek other opportunities outside of MLS for next season. Castrillon spent nine years of his career in his home nation of Colombia before joining the Rapids ahead of the 2012 season. This past season, Castrillon struggled to overcome injuries and only made 11 appearances with one goal.
“We’ve made the decision not to bring [Castrillón] back next year, and we feel it’s in the best interest of both the player and the club,” Bravo told the Rapids’ website. “Jaime has spent two years here, and this past year he had to deal with a big injury. By the time that he came back midway through the year, several young players had stepped up in his position. That’s one of the major things that determined our decision, the fact that those young players emerged.
“Jaime wants to play first team football, and so he’s going to look for those opportunities (elsewhere),” Bravo added.
REPORT: VOLKSWAGEN ENDS SPONSORSHIP DEAL WITH D.C. UNITED
D.C. United’s jerseys could have a different look next season.
According to a report in the Washington Post, German automotive manufacturer Volkswagen has declined an option to remain as D.C. United’s primary sponsor, which includes having their logo emblazoned on the front of the team’s uniforms.
“Volkswagen has realigned its strategic sports marketing objectives and moved out of team level sponsorships,” Scott Vazin, vice president of brand communications, told the Washington Post. “Volkswagen continues to work closely with D.C. United to explore alternative levels of involvement with the team.”
The report states that D.C. United is in talks with six companies to take over as the primary sponsor for 2014 and beyond. Volkswagen will remain the team’s official automobile sponsor.
THREE RAPIDS COULD HEAD TO ENGLAND FOR TRAINING STINT
The Colorado Rapids are looking to replicate last year’s program that saw four players train with Derby County in England for a two-week period.
Chris Klute, Clint Irwin, and Dillon Serna are all in line for a trip abroad, though the Rapids are still working out which club that they’ll go it. According to technical director Paul Bravo, they’ll likely all train with the same club.
“We did it last season [at Derby], and it was good chance for our players to experience a different culture and a new soccer environment,” Bravo told ColoradoRapids.com. “We think they enjoyed it and that it was valuable. We haven’t figured out exactly which club they’ll be with yet, and that’s what we’re working on right now.
“We might know more in the next week or so.”
Last year, Klute, Martin Rivero, Tony Cascio, and current New York Red Bull Andre Akpan trained with Derby.
PEREZ RUNS HALF MARATHON IN PANAMA
Blas Perez seems to be enjoying his offseason so far.
The Panamanian international forward is back home during the break and took part in his first half marathon as part of the 38th edition of the Panama marathon, which takes place in Panama City.
Perez finished with a time of 2:00:57, which calculates to around 9.2 minutes per mile.
“It was a new experience for me as an athlete,” Perez told FC Dallas from Panama. ”I thought I did great, especially for it being the first time.”
What do you think of these reports? Surprised to hear about Valeri’s injury? See the Rapids signing a new attacking midfielder or two this winter?
Share your thoughts below.