SEATTLE, WASH. – Seattle Sounders FC today announced the signing of forward Nelson Valdez. The 31-year-old Paraguayan international comes to Seattle from German side Eintracht Frankfurt, and is being added to Sounders FC's roster as a Designated Player pending receipt of his P-1 Visa and International Transfer Certificate. Per MLS and club policy, additional terms of the deal are not being disclosed.
Valdez joins Seattle’s roster as its newest Designated Player, as Targeted Allocation Money was used to lower the salary budget charge of midfielder Osvaldo Alonso, thereby freeing one of the club’s three Designated Player positions. Valdez joins fellow Designated Players Clint Dempsey and Obafemi Martins on Seattle’s frontline, with the Paraguayan rejoining Martins following their time together at Russian side Rubin Kazan.
“It's exciting to add a player of Nelson's pedigree. His addition allows us to vary our attack and makes us even more potent upfront,” said Sounders FC General Manager & President of Soccer Garth Lagerwey. “It can't be overstated how important a player with this type of experience can be for our team. Nelson has played in some of the world’s top competitions, including two FIFA World Cups and two Copa America tournaments, and he’s a welcome addition to our roster.”
Valdez joins the Rave Green following 15 seasons in the European topflight, including over 200 appearances in the German Bundesliga, where he scored 37 goals for Werder Bremen, Borussia Dortmund and most recently Eintracht Frankfurt. The Caagazù, Paraguay native began his career with local side CD Tembetary in 2000, making his professional debut at 16 and scoring 11 goals in 22 appearances. He then moved to Bremen in 2001, and after a standout performance on the club’s Second Team, he went on to score 21 goals in 80 Bundesliga appearances from 2002-2006. His domestic and international play earned him a transfer to German power Borussia Dortumud in 2006, where Valdez wore the number-nine shirt and scored 16 goals in 113 appearances. Following stays with Hèrcules, Rubin Kazan, Valencia, Al Jazira and Olympiacos, Valdez returned to the Bundesliga in 2014 with Eintracht Frankfurt, making 10 appearances during the 2014-2015 German campaign.
“Nelson is very good at creating and scoring goals. His technical ability and smart movement can change games,” said Sounders FC Sporting Director Chris Henderson. “He has been influential with top club teams around the world and has represented his country in the biggest tournaments. We have followed Nelson very closely the last few years and are thrilled to add him.”
A prolific striker renowned for his clinical finishing ability, Valdez has 68 career caps and 12 goals for the Paraguayan National Team, where he appeared in both the 2006 and 2010 FIFA World Cups, as well as the 2011 and 2015 Copa Amèrica tournaments. Valdez started all three of his appearances in the 2006 World Cup Group Stage in Germany, then appeared five times in the 2010 tournament in South Africa, including a 1-0 Quarterfinal loss to eventual champion Spain. 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. On the club side, Valdez has also played in 18 UEFA Champions League matches for Werder Bremen, Valencia and Olympiacos, helping Werder Bremen to a Round of 16 appearance in the 2005-2006 tournament.
“I am excited to add the experience and talent that Nelson brings to our team,” said Sounders FC Head Coach Sigi Schmid. “Nelson is a hard worker who will help diversify our attack.”
Transaction: Seattle Sounders FC signs midfielder Nelson Valdez to a Designated Player contract on August 7, 2015.
Name: Nelson Valdez
Born: November 28, 1983
Hometown: Caaguazú, Paraguay
Jersey Number: 16
Acquired: Signed on August 7, 2015 as a Designated Player