Portland Timbers

Portland Timbers sign new Designated Player
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Portland Timbers make Diego Chara’s brother Yimmi new DP

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All the Charas.

The Portland Timbers have acquired Yimmi Chara from Brazil’s Atletico Mineiro, making their star midfielder’s little brother a new Designated Player.

Older brother Diego Chara, 33, has made nearly 300 appearances for the Timbers, scoring 10 times with 15 assists.

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Yimmi’s five years younger and responsible for more of the attack-minded stuff as compared to his hard-as-nails brother.

Yimmi has 10 caps and a goal for Colombia, and is coming off a six-goal campaign in Brazil. He had a goal and seven assists the previous season, his first with Atletico Mineiro. He’s also played in Mexico with Monterrey and Dorados amongst other stops.

“I am very happy and excited to join the Timbers. Everything my brother has done and what he has mentioned about the team and the city is a great indication of what things could be for me and my family next season,” said Yimmi. “I am going through a great moment in my career and I feel confident I will be able to give the organization my best to help them achieve their goals on and off the field.”

Now sign Zdeno.

MLS: Valeri re-signs with Timbers, and more

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The Portland Timbers are bringing back their fan-favorite former MVP winner on a new, long-term contract.

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The Timbers announced on Monday that it had agreed to a multi-year contract, using target allocation money (TAM) with Diego Valeri. The news ends a months-long saga that had fans fearing Valeri could leave as a free agent this winter. Valeri was reportedly still seeking Designated Player level money, so it took some financial maneuvering with TAM to make this deal work.

Valeri has seen his goal numbers drop significantly the last couple of seasons since his 21 goals in 2017, but he did have 16 assists last year. However, at age 33, you wonder how much more he has left in the tank.

Either way, it’s a huge boost to the Timbers that Valeri is back. He’s a fixture in Portland, he makes this team better, and now the Timbers can focus on adding more attacking pieces to their squad. There’s two Designated Player slots open and the Timbers are usually open to spending big on a signing. Now, the attention turns to a new Designated Player coming this month or in January.

Here’s some more news across MLS:


Report: Brazilian club Gremio interested in Martinez

It’s safe to say that Gonzalo “Pity” Martinez’s first season in MLS didn’t exactly go to plan.

Now, if the reports are true, he could find his way back to South America, albeit not to his former club River Plate. According to TYC Sports, Brazilian club Gremio are interested in adding Martinez for their 2020 season. Gremio finished in fourth place in Brazil’s Serie A Championship this past season, earning them entry into the 2020 Copa Libertadores as well.

Should Martinez want to head back to South America, he could do worse than joining one of Brazil’s giant clubs and getting the chance to play in the Copa Libertadores.

Should Martinez stay, he could take advantage from a full preseason with Atlanta United and potentially a better relationship with coach Frank De Boer. The two clashed at times last year.

Main takeaways from MLS contract deadline day

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Major League Soccer saw a lot of big names in the news as “Contract Deadline Day” played out across the U.S. and Canada.

— The New York Red Bulls watched two all-timers walk out the door, as Bradley Wright-Phillips did not get a new contract and the club declined its option on Luis Robles (STORY).

— Not a player move, but Austin FC announced the hiring of former NYCFC sporting director Claudio Reyna to the same position.

[ MORE: PST’s talk 1v1 with Reyna earlier this season ]

— Toronto FC is yet to reach a deal to keep Michael Bradley in town, but remains in contract talks with its captain. The same is true for Nicolas Benezet, while Drew Moor is out-of-contract.

— And that’s also what’s happening in Portland with Diego Valeri, the longtime star in talks with the team despite not having his option picked up.

Chicago Fire announced a new branding initiative, changing its logo from a classic crest to something else and dropping the SC for an FC. Like Columbus before them, everyone will still call them the fire and ignore the SC, FC, or whatever see. It’s what happens when you take a formal nickname.

The club also cut ties with playmakers Nico Gaitan and Aleksandar Katai.

— Minnesota United remains in talks to bring back Reading loanee and reigning MLS Goalkeeper of the Year winner Vito Mannone, and that means longtime backstop Bobby Shuttleworth will hit the open market.

— Orlando declined its option on Dillon Powers, and also let the clock run out on the contract of one-time megastar Sacha Kljestan.

— Real Salt Lake did not reach an agreement with Kyle Beckerman on a new deal, though MLSSoccer.com thinks he’s still in the mix.

— New England is letting Juan Agudelo walk into free agency.

— Atlanta United exercised the contract option for Julian Gressel, but he’s being badly underpaid and the club needs to find salary room for a proper new deal.

— Thierry Henry is keeping his two brightest attacker, with Ignacio Piatti getting another year at the club and Saphir Taider seeing his loan from Bologna made permanent.

— The Philadelphia Union did not exercise their option on Marco Fabian, and are letting Haris Medunjanin leave without a new deal.

— Roman Torres did not see his option exercised by the Sounders, and Kim Kee-hee is also leaving the club.

— Sporting KC waves goodbye to Seth Sinovic, Krisztian Nemeth, Benny Feilhaber, and Gedion Zelalem.

MLS terminates contract of Timbers striker Brian Fernandez

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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.

More AP soccer https://apnews.com/Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports

RSL knocks out Portland to reach West semifinals (video)

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The game in 200 words (or less): Real Salt Lake outlasted the Portland Timbers in a constantly changing winter’s climate at altitude at Rio Tinto Stadium to book their place in the Western Conference semifinals, where they’ll visit the Seattle Sounders. A massive amount of rain and sleet fell throughout the first half, followed by a brief period of heavy snow, followed by clear(er) skies more conducive to actually playing soccer. Damir Kreilach opened the scoring in the 28th minute, but the visitors drew level barely 60 seconds into the second half.

Everyone had braced themselves for extra time, but Jefferson Savarino played the part of hero in the 87th minute when he slotted home past Steve Clark from a tough angle.

The career of Nick Rimando, the all-time record holder for essentially every goalkeeping statistic who will retire at the end of the 2019 season, is extended by at least one more game.

[ MORE: Lampard “pleased for Pulisic,” praises subs in Chelsea win ]

What did we learn?

  • Slow start leaves Portland an uphill battle: To say that Portland started this game slowly would be the understatement of the season.

After all that, it took Portland 37 seconds to register a shot in the second half. The ensuing corner kick wound up in the back of the net.

  • Portland should re-sign Valeri. End: It doesn’t matter whether the sides are hung up on money or length of contract — heck, even if he wants full control of the club’s roster as next technical director — it simply doesn’t matter. Diego Valeri is the (MLS) Portland Timbers; he is their best player in their MLS era; he is still their best player in 2019. Valeri didn’t play the first 63 minutes of this game, and Portland managed all of four shots in that time. They equaled that number in the first seven minutes Valeri was on the field. If you look up “difference maker” in the dictionary, it will simply read Valeri, Diego.

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Man of the match: Damir Kreilach

Goalscorers: Kreilach (28′), Asprilla (47′), Savarino (87′)