Timbers add serious firepower with Fernandez, Liga MX second-leading scorer

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The Portland Timbers took a big step to solving some of its goal-scoring problems with a major signing on Monday.

The Timbers announced that it had signed Argentine forward Brian Fernandez as a Designated Player on a transfer from Liga MX side Necaxa. Fernandez finished the regular season of the Liga MX Clausura campaign with 12 goals in the 17-match half season, good to second best in the league. He has 16 goals in 30 league matches since joining Necaxa last summer. Per the Athletic and reports in Mexico, the Timbers are paying a transfer fee of around $10-12 million for Fernandez’s services.

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“We are very pleased to welcome Brian Fernández to our team,” Timbers head coach Giovanni Savarese said in a statement. “Brian is a player who possesses many different attacking qualities that can cause issues for the opposition. He has shown the ability to unlock defenses and score goals in a variety of ways throughout his career, and, while we view him as a forward with our immediate group, his versatility and ability to play in different positions and systems gives us further tactical flexibility and options.”

Fernandez, who has played in his native Argentina, Chile, and even half a season at Metz in Ligue 1, brings a hot form and scoring ability to a Timbers team in need of goals. Although it can be partially excused by starting the season on the road, the Timbers have just 13 goals this season in 10 games, and more often than not, Diego Valeri, the playmaking maestro in attacking midfield, has finished the season as the team’s leading scorer.

Players such as Fanendo Adi, Darren Mattocks and Jack McInerney have come and gone, and while Sebastian Blanco appears to have the talent to succeed in MLS, he hasn’t been a consistent goalscorer. That necessitated the signing of Fernandez.

The signing also comes just a day ahead of the MLS Transfer Window first stage closing until the second stage opens in early July.