PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) Major League Soccer has terminated Portland Timbers forward Brian Fernandez’s contract.
The league announced the move Friday. Fernandez has also been removed from Portland’s roster.
The 25-year old Argentine voluntarily entered the MLS Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health Program last month and missed the team’s lone playoff game.
Fernandez joined the Timbers in May, and he went on to score 11 goals in 19 appearances with the team. He was sidelined at the end of the season with what the team characterized as a stomach virus.
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Portland Timbers forward Brian Fernandez has left the playoff-bound club to voluntarily enter Major League Soccer’s Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health Program (SABH).
Fernandez came to Portland with a history of issues, and he told Ole that he had not relapsed but was going through a difficult time in his life and entered the program to avoid backsliding.
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Portland said in a statement, “Our number one priority is Brian’s emotional and physical well-being. Our thoughts are with him.”
In 23 matches with Portland across all competitions, Fernandez has 15 goals and two assists and is a Designated Player.
It’s unclear whether the Argentine will be back with the club before it begins life as the West’s No. 6 seed in the MLS Cup Playoffs, but obviously there are more important things at play for Fernandez.
The game in 200 words (or less): A lot was on the line at Providence Park on Saturday night. Visiting Sporting Kansas City and the Portland Timbers, separated only by three points prior to kickoff, were equally as desperate for a three points as the playoff race intensified. When the first whistle blew and the team’s got settled in, it was obvious that there was a lot at stake. Despite approaching the game in a conservative manner, Peter Vermes and Co. were destined to win a four straight – until a late Timbers surge occurred. Hampered with a a slew of officiating decisions going against them, Portland caught their first break when Jeremy Ebobisse struck late in the game. It would be turn out to be two in the final 10 minutes, though, as substitute Brian Fernandez delivered the game-winning goal for a Timbers that are now sixth in the West with six games to play. What a night in Portland.
Three moments that mattered
65′ — Feilhaber adds to his list of frame-worthy goals — When it comes to scoring stunners, very few do it like Feilhaber.
83′ — Ebobisse levels the score — Just by the way Ebobisse decided to “celebrate,” one could tell last-minute magic was on the way.
90′+4 — Fernandez earns Portland valuable victory — Brian Fernandez for the win, of course.
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Man of the match: Diego Valeri
Goalscorers: Feilhaber (65′), Ebobisse (83′), Fernandez (90’+4)
Brian Fernandez scored on debut to lead the Portland Timbers in a 1-1 draw with the Dynamo in Houston on Wednesday.
Portland moves to 3-6-2 on the year, while Houston remains fourth despite moving onto 20 points.
Houston led on a 40th minute goal from Mauro Manotas, and Timbers boss Giovani Savarese turned to his new record signing in the 65th minute.
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A dozen minutes later, Sebastian Blanco hit this dime to Fernandez, who arrived from Necaxa last week.
The 24-year-old Argentine picked up where he left off in Liga MX, where he scored 18 times in 32 matches.
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.