Player Details


Nelson Valdez


5' 10"


161 lbs

Date of Birth

11.28.1983 (39)


Caaguazú, Paraguay Paraguay



Player Category

International, Designated Player
2023 MLS Regular Season
2023 MLS Regular Season
Career Summary


2015 (Seattle): After signing with Sounders FC on August 7 to a Designated Player contract, Valdez made 10 appearances (seven starts) in league and postseason action. He became the fourth player in club history to score a goal in his team debut in a 4-0 win vs. Orlando City SC (August 16). Valdez recorded his first MLS assist in a 3-0 win at Vancouver Whitecaps FC (September 19). In the postseason, Valdez appeared in all three contests. In the Knockout Round against the LA Galaxy in the MLS Cup Playoffs, Valdez scored in the 12th minute in the 3-2 victory. In the Group Stage of the 2015-2016 Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League against Vancouver Whitecaps FC, Valdez recorded a goal and two assists in a 3-0 victory (September 23).

2014-2015 (Eintracht Frankfurt): With his third Bundesliga team, Valdez returned to play under the direction of Thomas Schaaf, who coached him with Werder Bremen early in his career. With the German side, Valdez suffered a knee injury in his second appearance, which sidelined him for six months. Upon his return, Valdez scored eight minutes after entering a match against Paderborn on March 14, 2015. In total, Valdez scored one goal in 10 appearances.

2014 (Olympiacos): While on loan to Greek powerhouse Olympiacos, Valdez proved to be a scoring threat with six goals in 10 matches. The club finished atop the 2013-14 Greek Super League table and qualified for the 2014-2015 UEFA Champions League. The highlight of the season for Valdez came against Ergotelis, when the striker netted a hat trick in a 10-minute span in a 4-1 Olympiacos victory (March 23).

2013-2014 (Al Jazira): For one season, Valdez joined Al-Jazira of the Saudi Arabia League, based out of Abu Dhabi, the capital city of the United Arab Emirates. As one of the club’s four foreign nationals, Valdez scored four goals in 12 matches, including the game-winner in his final match for the club against Al Shaab (August 1).

2012-2013 (Valencia): Valencia bought Valdez’s contract from Rubin Kazan in February, and the striker played on loan for the Spanish club. While with Valencia, Valdez scored six goals in 28 matches, including the UEFA Champions League, where Valdez recorded a late tally in a 2-1 loss to Bayern Munich in the Group Stage (September 19). After advancing alongside Bayern Munich, Valencia fell to Paris Saint-Germain in the Round of 16.

2011-2012 (Rubin Kazan): Prior to his loan to Valencia, Valdez played one season for Rubin Kazan of the Russian Premier League. Based in the city of Kazan of the Republic of Tatarsan, Russia, the club has played in the country’s topflight since 2003. In his time with Rubin Kazan, Valdez scored three goals in 20 league appearances, as well as three goals in the Europa League to help the club advance to the knockout phase. During his stay with Kazan, Valdez was a teammate of current Sounders FC player Obafemi Martins.

2010-2011 (Hèrcules): In his first appearance with Spanish side Hèrcules, Valdez scored a brace in a memorable 2-0 win at FC Barcelona’s Camp Nou to end the opposition’s 17-game unbeaten streak and 15-month unbeaten home streak (September 11). With Hèrcules, Valdez netted eight goals in 25 appearances.

2009-2010 (Borussia Dortmund): In his final season with Borussia Dortmund, Valdez scored five goals in 28 league appearances as the club finished fifth in the Bundesliga table. Valdez scored his last goal for the club in a 1-1 draw against Hoffenheim (April 18). Upon his return from the 2010 FIFA World Cup with Paraguay, Valdez transferred to Hèrcules in August of 2010.  

2008-2009 (Borussia Dortmund): Valdez scored just four minutes into his first match of the Bundesliga season in a 3-2 win against Bayer Leverkusen (August 16). In the First Round of the 2008-2009 UEFA Cup, Dortmund and Udineses went to penalty kicks after both teams were tied through extra time of the Second Leg. Valdez converted his penalty, but Udinese won 4-3 and advanced to the Second Round. When the club returned to Bundesliga action, Valdez scored 10 minutes into a 1-1 draw versus Hannover (October 5). The forward went on to score seven goals in 29 league appearances as Dortmund finished sixth in the league table.

2007-2008 (Borussia Dortmund): In his second season with German side Borussia Dortmund, Valdez scored three goals in 27 appearances. The forward netted his first scoring tally against Schalke (August 18) and added his second against Stuttgart (December 1). One week later, he scored a penalty kick in a 6-1 win against Arminia Bielefeld (December 7). That April, the club advanced to the 2007-2008 Deutsche Pokal Final, but fell 2-1 to Bayern Munich (April 19).

2006-2007 (Borussia Dortmund): Valdez made his debut for Dortmund in a 2-0 loss to Bayern Munich (August 11). He scored his first goal with a 90th-minute strike in a 1-0 win over Wolfsburg (May 5). In his first campaign with the Dortmund, Valdez netted one goal in 29 league matches as the club finished ninth in the Bundesliga table.

2005-2006 (Werder Bremen): In his final season with Werder Bremen, Valdez scored nine goals in 30 league appearances. In a UEFA Champions League Group Stage fixture, Valdez netted a brace in a 5-1 win against Panathinaikos (December 7). Bremen advanced to the Knockout Stage, but fell to Juventus on away goals in the Round of 16. Valdez later scored a hat trick against Hannover (March 25). The club finished second in the league and qualified for the 2006-2007 UEFA Champions League. After representing Paraguay in the 2006 FIFA World Cup, Valdez moved to Borussia Dortmund.

2004-2005 (Werder Bremen): In the opening match of the season against Schalke, Valdez came on as a substitute and scored the lone goal in the 83rd minute. Valdez debuted in the 2004-2005 UEFA Champions League against Inter Milan (September 14). In a Champions League match against Valencia, Valdez scored both goals in a 2-0 win to advance the club beyond the Group Stage (December 7). Werder Bremen finished third in the Bundesliga table and qualified for the 2005-2006 UEFA Champions League Third Qualifying Round. Valdez scored seven goals in 25 appearances in league play.

2003-2004 (Werder Bremen): Valdez made his first appearance of the season in a 4-1 win home victory against Schalke 04 (August 23), in which he scored three minutes after entering the pitch. On October 29, he signed a contract with the First Team. One week later, he scored a brace in the final 10 minutes of the match after being substituted in the 81st minute against Hannover. Valdez added goals against Hertha Berlin and Hamburg in reserve roles. The club finished atop the Bundesliga table and qualified for the 2004-2005 UEFA Champions League as Valdez scored five goals in 21 league appearances.  

2002-2003 (Werder Bremen II / Werder Bremen): After scoring 15 goals in 30 league appearances for Werder Bremen II, Valdez earned a call-up to the First Team, where he made his debut against Energie Cottbus on February 22, 2003.

2001-2002 (Werder Bremen II): In his first season with Werder Bremen, Valdez scored three goals in 12 appearances for Werder Bremen II. Valdez previously played for Atletico Tembetary’s youth system in his native Paraguay.


Valdez has 68 caps for the Paraguay National Team, including 12 international goals. He appeared in both the 2006 FIFA World Cup and the 2010 FIFA World Cup, where he appeared in all eight matches. In the 2010 FIFA World Cup, Valdez converted his attempt during a penalty shootout that sent Paraguay past Japan and into the Quarterfinal Round, where the Paraguayans lost to 1-0 to eventual-champion Spain. Prior to the 2010 FIFA World Cup, Valdez scored five goals in qualifying matches. He has two goals in 11 career Copa America appearances, leading Paraguay to a runner-up finish in 2011 and a fourth-place result in 2015.


The son of Antonio and Silvia, Valdez’s parents live in Coronel Oviedo, Paraguay. He has been married to Martynka Merscheder since 2008 and has two children, Nelson Samuel and Tynka Noemi Beatha. Valdez, who is fluent in five languages, has a foundation with his wife that deals with childhood poverty in his homeland.


Valdez was signed as a Designated Player on August 7, 2015.