Portland Timbers

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Timbers sign Peruvian winger Andy Polo from Liga MX’s Morelia

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PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) The Portland Timbers have acquired winger Andy Polo on loan from Liga MX club Monarcas Morelia for the upcoming season.

The 23-year-old native of Peru played in 25 matches last year for Morelia and made six starts with two goals.

He’s also World Cup-bound, having appeared in Peru’s two-legged playoff against New Zealand in November. Peru won 2-0 on aggregate. Overall, he’s appeared with the Peruvian national team 15 times since his senior debut in 2016.

“Andy is a versatile, young player who will add another element to our attack, and we believe that he has further upside to his development,” Timbers coach Giovanni Savarese said in a statement.

The Timbers used targeted allocation money and have a purchase option. Polo’s arrival is pending a physical and receipt of a visa.

He will occupy an international roster spot.

Expansion LAFC signs veteran MLS defender Jordan Harvey

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LOS ANGELES (AP) Veteran MLS defender Jordan Harvey has signed with the expansion Los Angeles Football Club.

LAFC announced its latest player acquisition Tuesday.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverage ]

The 33-year-old Harvey is an Orange County native who played at UCLA before embarking on a 13-year MLS career with Vancouver, Philadelphia and Colorado. He scored one goal in 28 games with the Whitecaps last season, and he has 11 goals in 270 career MLS games.

Harvey joins central defenders Walker Zimmerman and Laurent Ciman on a potentially veteran-laden back line for LAFC, which will begin play in March as MLS’ 23rd franchise.

In other MLS news from Tuesday evening, the Portland Timbers signed Costa Rican defender Julio Cascante from Deportivo Saprissa, using target allocation money in the process.

MLS announces 2018 home openers for all teams

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Major League Soccer announced the home openers for each of its 23 teams on Tuesday.

The season begins March 3rd with a full day of matches beginning with an Easter Conference Finals rematch between Toronto FC and Columbus at BMO Field at 1 p.m. ET.

[ MORE: Larin to UCL Round of 16 side? ]

Two clubs won’t play at home until April, with new boys Los Angeles FC unable christen their new joint until nearly May. Because of this, perhaps, both clubs will be the visitors for two other teams’ home openers.

Vancouver and Columbus know their home opening date, but have yet to learn the opponents.

And Montreal will open their home slate with a derby against Toronto FC.

March 3
Toronto vs. Columbus
Houston vs. Atlanta
Orlando City vs. DC United
FC Dallas vs. Real Salt Lake
Colorado vs. Chicago
San Jose vs. Minnesota
Philadelphia vs. New England

March 4
Seattle vs. LAFC
Sporting KC vs. New York City FC
LA Galaxy vs. Portland

March 10
Chicago vs. Sporting KC
New England vs. Colorado
Real Salt Lake vs. LAFC
New York Red Bulls vs. Portland

March 11
Atlanta vs. DC United
NYCFC vs. LA Galaxy

March 17
Montreal vs. Toronto
DC United vs. Houston
Minnesota United vs. Chicago

April 14
Portland vs. Minnesota

April 29
LAFC vs. Seattle

Timbers make it official: Savarese is the new boss

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The Portland Timbers have made it official, announcing the hiring of New York Cosmos architect Giovanni Savarese as the successor to Caleb Porter.

Savarese, 46, led the Cosmos to three NASL Championship Games in his first run as a manager, following a playing career that included stops at Millwall, NY/NJ MetroStars, and Swansea City. He attended Long Island University, and was capped 30 times with 10 goals for Venezuela.

[ BLANC: I turned down USMNT talks ]

He’s an intriguing hire for Portland, who won an MLS Cup but suffered from inconsistency under the highly-regarded Porter (twice missing the playoffs but twice earning the West’s No. 1 seed). While the Cosmos regularly spent well, Savarese navigated the uncertain waters of a nascent league with regular success.

From Timbers.com:

“I am both excited and proud to become the head coach of the Portland Timbers, and this is an ideal fit and outstanding opportunity for me as I take the next step in my coaching career,” Savarese said. “The passion, ambition and support surrounding this club is truly inspiring, and I am sincerely honored and grateful for this opportunity to lead it on the pitch and to build on the club’s history of success for the community and the incredible supporters of the Portland Timbers.”

The hiring has been rumored for some time. Though Savarese was loyal to the Cosmos, the NASL’s future has been hung in the hands of the legal system for some time due to a bold lawsuit against U.S. Soccer Federation. The NASL contends that the relationships between the USSF, Soccer United Marketing, United Soccer League, and Major League Soccer have conspired to stop the NASL from competing with MLS as a D-1 league.

Timbers send Nagbe to Atlanta for allocation money

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PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) The Portland Timbers have traded midfielder Darlington Nagbe to Atlanta United in exchange for $1.65 million in allocation money.

Portland is also sending defender Gbenga Arokoyo to Atlanta and receiving a 2018 international spot as part of the trade.

[ RECAP – City hammer Swansea ]

Nagbe, who has become a regular on the U.S. national team, has been with the Timbers since the team joined MLS in 2011. He was selected with the second overall pick in that year’s MLS SuperDraft.

He has 27 goals and 30 assists in 214 matches with the Timbers. His goals are the second-most since the team joined MLS.

“Thank you, Portland, and everyone that supported my family and me the past seven years,” he said in a statement released by the Timbers.

Nagbe, 27, has 24 appearances with the national team and one goal.