The Timbers appear to have secured the temporary services of Argentine midfielder Diego Valeri.
I find this satisfying for two reasons:
First, because the player appears to provide something that the Timbers have needed for two years; a skilled playmaking midfielder. While I don’t know much about the player himself, over at the Axe the post discussing this deal in which our correspondent sunshine describes him as:
“…that creative midfielder the timbers have needed since their mls inception, and he is the type of player the more observant and vocal supporters have been begging the management to sign.”
…as well as Sheba’s note in the comments that:
“Some of the most heartening comments I have read are from fans in Argentina who are baffled that he is wasting his talents in the MLS. As one fan in Argentina explained to me, they still think of the MLS as someplace 35 year olds go to retire. The fact that they see him as still having too much skill and talent to waste in the MLS speaks well of his potential.”
and, second, because this signing, to me, is a significant uptick on our Front Office’s professional judgement.
Until this off-season the Timbers management has seemed to have little judgement and less discipline in their signings. Forwards were being logpiled in the training room as the midfield and backline went a-glimmering. Players came, and went, or never arrived based on some peculiar wisdom that many of us standing outside the end- and touchlines couldn’t fathom.
Many of us, including many of the moderators and commentors to the online fora; here, at Stumptown Footy, at the Axe, at Dropping Timber, were screaming at the FO to rectify the right back and ACM situations at the end of the 2011 season. Result? Nothing. Early in 2012 the ‘net was rich with the heady fumes of the same… fuming; WTF, Gavin? WTF, Merritt? You trade Cooper for an even more expensive, even more service-dependent striker… and then do nothing to provide service?
But… this signing has a different feel. The Timbers need a playmaker to serve the ball up… and they go sign one.
So the hope that is faintly sparking in the back of my head is that the Magpie Era of Timbers acquisitions is ending.
Mind you, in my opinion the outside-back situation is still unsettled, and we will see if this Valeri business is merely the exception that proofs the rule, or genuinely the sign that the management is beginning to think like soccer professionals wanting to compete at the top level in our country. But we can hope.