MLS- Portland Timbers

MLS Ticker: Valeri undergoes hernia operation; Castrillon to leave Rapids; and more

Diego Valeri

Photo by ISIPhotos.com


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:


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.


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.


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.


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.

  • Scott

    Not being a runner myself, I know that is a respectable time in a half marathon. I guess it goes to show the different type of fitness needed for soccer vs. running. As I always try to tell my running friends.


    • Jay in Florida

      I agree, defiantly a respectable number. It’s cool to hear about Blas trying this out.


      • Nate

        especially for a professional athlete who trains daily. I would think most soccer players should be able to run < 1:30.


      • Wonderloaf

        Yeah. I ran a 1:36 without running/training a few years ago. I was in decent shape at the time from other athletic activities but wasn’t doing any running to prepare. Granted, certain soccer players have builds that are better suited for jogging/sprinting for 90 minutes rather than running at a decent pace for an hour and a half. But still, 2+ hours is really awful.

        Maybe he just took it easy and chatted with the people he was running with? That’s my guess.


    • alex

      Great point. I always try to tell people soccer players are closer to repetitive sprinters as opposed to distance runners.


    • The Imperative Voice

      To be fair to him my experience bouncing between soccer and running was that soccer calls upon brute strength to pull you through 90 while running rewards being ffresh but fit. A soccer player who has called upon physical reserves for months to haul themselves up and down the field probably doesn’t have the legs to blaze a race, and probably has more physical bulk on his legs than ideal for a distance runner.

      That being said, I think the highest levels of soccer start to reward people like Donovan who have distance runner type fitness and speed — on top of the basic ability to run two ways for 90. I don’t know if I’d say that of Perez though.


  • SoB

    That is an awful time. Point blank, period. Any professional athelete shouild be able to do better. I smoke a pack a day and can run a half in 1.30 my girlfriend who does not even have a runner’s build can do it in under 2. And she has asthma. The fact that he thopught he did well makes it an even bigger joke.


  • timothy

    When I was in high school, I ran both cross country and played soccer. During pre-season training, our soccer coach would have us run a few miles and I was shocked at how fast the soccer guys were compared to the actual runners in distance running. Clarence Goodson was on my team and i would expect him to run a half marathon in probably 1:15 with minimal training at the end of a season. So to me, Perez couldn’t have been trying


  • Lou Ganis

    All of you complaining about Perez’s time are neglecting to factor in his falling to the ground, clutching ankle/knee/hip/ face, rolling around for a few minutes only to pop up and continue unscathed.


  • slowleftarm

    Agreed that Perez’s time is weak.

    Glad to see VW wake up to the damage it was doing to its brand by having it appear on the shirts of the worst team in MLS history.


  • scottishkyle

    Valeri deserves an award for playing with a sports hernia and playing extremely well despite it. Imagine what he might have done from the Augusy injury to the end of the season and in the playoffs without the hernia. He was visibly in pain in every one of those games. Thank you Diego Valeri.


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