The 24-year-old Argentine professional footballer scored in the fourth minute of second-half stoppage time to give the Portland Timbers a dramatic 2-1 victory over Sporting Kansas City on Saturday night.
Star forward Diego Valeri set up the goal with a left-footed baseline cross for his 16th assist of the season. Fernandez was on the doorstep waiting for the ball to arrive and put himself in position to head it into the net to give the Timbers a crucial victory.
Forward Jeremy Ebobisse scored in the 83rd minute for the Timbers (13-11-4), who raised their point total to 43, in a tie with Real Salt Lake and FC Dallas for the fifth-most points in the MLS Western Conference.
Portland protected the lead over the final three-plus minutes of stoppage time to hand Sporting (10-12-7, 37 points) a damaging loss. SKCis five points behind the Los Angeles Galaxy, who hold the final playoff position in the West.
Brian Fernandezwill be playing Major League Soccer soon…
The Portland Timbers have completed the transfer of the 24-year-old Argentine footballer from Necaxa, according to ESPN FC.
While multiple outlets reported in recent weeks have reported that the terms of the deal had been finalized, the Athletic was first to report that the transfer is complete, with Fernandez securing his work visa in the last few days.
No word on the precise fee, but it reportedly dwarfs the previous club record of close to $5 million the Timbers paid for Lucas Melano back in 2017, though it’s not as high as the $12 million previously reported.
Fernandez can play either as a central striker or on the wing, and is expected to arrive in Portland as early as Monday. The signing also concludes the Timbers’ lengthy and at times public search for a new attacking piece, which saw them linked with the likes of the Tigresduo of Julian Quinones and Eduardo Vargas, as well as AEK Athens‘ on-loan attacker Ezequiel Ponce.
It is also believed that Fernandez won’t have to serve out the remaining two games of a three-game suspension he recently was handed following a red card and then a subsequent altercation with a fan as he left the field, though MLS will ultimately have the final say.
While it was an ignominious end to his Necaxa career, Fernandez’s stint with Los Rayosresurrected his career. While on the books of Racing Club, Fernandez was suspended for a year by CONMEBOLfollowing a failed drug test in which he tested positive for cocaine.
A series of loan stints followed with the likes of Sarmiento, Metz and Union La Calera, but his time with Necaxa proved highly productive, with the Argentine scoring 12 goals in 15 games during the current Clausura. Overall, Fernandez scored 18 goals in 32 league and cup appearances.
Fernandez joins the Timbers with three games remaining in Portland’s season opening 12-game road swing due to renovations at its home venue, Providence Park. The Timbers have so far gone 3-5-1 and sit in ninth place in the 12-team Western Conference.