Valeri collects Newcomer of the Year honor

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New York, NY ( - Portland Timbers midfielder Diego Valeri was named the 2013 Major League Soccer Newcomer of the Year on Wednesday, an honor that goes to a player in his first season in MLS, but has prior professional experience.

Valeri notched a league-leading 13 assists while also finishing with 10 goals in his first season in Portland after signing with the club as a Designated Player from Lanus in January.

The 27-year-old is the first Timbers player to record double-digit totals in both goals and assists in a single season, and he becomes the third successive player from Argentina to win the Newcomer of the Year award, following Seattle midfielder Mauro Rosales (2011) and Columbus forward Federico Higuain (2012).

Valeri won the award by a wide margin over New England defender Jose Goncalves, who finished second, while Vancouver midfielder Nigel Reo-Coker was third.