Felipe Mora Signs New Contract with Portland Timbers 

Felipe Mora is headed to the Pacific Northwest

The Portland Timbers have completed the transfer of the 27-year-old Chilean soccer star from the Liga MX club Pumas UNAM and signed him to a new contract.

Felipe Mora

Originally acquired by the Timbers on a one-year loan on January 31, 2020, Mora tallied seven goals and two assists in 19 matches (13 starts) during the 2020 Major League Soccer (MLS) regular season.

“We are thrilled to bring back Felipe long term as he is an accomplished international striker in the prime of his career,” Timbers head coach Giovanni Savarese said in a release. “Felipe acclimated seamlessly into the group last year, and we can’t wait for him to continue being a key contributor for the Timbers.”

Mora’s new contract uses targeted allocation money. Specific terms were not disclosed.

Mora tallied 19 goals in 65 appearances (50 starts) at Pumas UNAM from 2018-20. That followed stints with Liga MX club Cruz Azul (2017-18) and with Universidad de Chile (2016-17) in the Chilean Primera Division.

He has also competed with the Chile national team, most recently in a World Cup qualifier against Venezuela on November 17.

Portland Timbers Reportedly Finalizing Transfer of Claudio Nicolas Bravo from Banfield

Claudio Nicolas Bravo is heading north…

The Portland Timbers are reportedly finalizing the transfer of the 23-year-old Argentine professional footballer from Argentine side Banfield, pending a physical and visa. 

Claudio Nicolas Bravo

Portland will pay a transfer fee of $1 million with payments spread out over four years for 80% of Bravo’s rights, according to ESPN sources.

After breaking into the side in September of 2017, Bravo has made 55 league and cup appearances with El Taladro.

Los Angeles FC Acquire Marco Farfan from Portland Timbers

Marco Farfan is switching sides…

Los Angeles FC (LAFC) has acquired the 22-year-old Mexican American soccer player, an outside back, from the Portland Timbers for an undisclosed amount of allocation money, according to ESPN.

Marco Farfan

The move gives the Black-and-Gold some needed help at outside back following a season in which its defensive record slipped into the bottom half of the Major League Soccer (MLS).

The move is expected to be officially announced at the opening of the half-day trade window on December 13.

Farfan was signed by the Timbers to a homegrown player contract in October of 2016, becoming the first product of the team’s academy to sign such a deal. Over the course of the next four seasons, Farfan made 37 league and cup appearances with the Timbers’ first team, while also seeing time in the second tier USL Championship with Portland Timbers 2, the club’s reserve side. In the most recent campaign, Farfan made 15 appearances, nine of them starts.

A source with knowledge of the situation indicated that Farfan’s contract was expiring and that he was eager to find a new challenge. LAFC was able to oblige.

At international level, Farfan has made two appearances with the U.S. U-23 team. He has been called into training camp with the full US Men’s National Team (USMNT) squad ahead of the December 9 friendly against El Salvador.

Diego Valeri Helps Lead the Portland Timbers Into the MLS is Back Tournament Semifinals

Diego Valeri is celebrating a major win…

The 34-year-old Argentine footballer and Andy Polo each scored after entering the match as substitutes, helping lead the Portland Timbers to a 3-1 win over New York City FC in the last MLS is Back tournament quarterfinal near Orlando on Saturday night.

Diego Valeri

Sebastian Blanco also scored and had an assist for the Timbers, who haven’t conceded a non-penalty-kick goal in either of their games in the knockout phase.

Portland will face the Philadelphia Union in a semifinal on Wednesday night, after Philadelphia defeated Sporting Kansas City 3-1 on Thursday. The winner will advance to the August 11 final against either Orlando or Minnesota.

Jesus Medina scored a first-half penalty kick to give NYCFC an early lead. New York exits the tournament having lost three of its five matches, after forcing Portland goalkeeper Steve Clark into just two saves.

Valeri entered at halftime and broke a 1-all tie 20 minutes later. He controlled a diagonal pass into the penalty area, played a quick square ball to Jaroslaw Niezgoda, ran onto Niezgoda’s return pass and struck a first-time shot past Sean Johnson.

Polo required only a minute after his 75th-minute entrance to put the game out of reach. With several options to play a pass during an attack, Polo instead opted for a ferocious 25-yard curling shot from the left side that skimmed off a diving Johnson’s fingertips on its way inside the far post.

Before halftime, New York led for 16 minutes until Blanco struck an opportunistic equalizer, when Maxime Chanot deflected Jose Villafana‘s low cross from the left. Blanco collected the half-clearance about 15 yards from goal, then curled a right-footed shot beyond Johnson’s dive and inside the right post.

Medina opened the scoring in the 27th minute after drawing the penalty kick himself, when he went to the ground after tangling with Portland defender Larrys Mabiala.

Robert Sibiga ruled a foul and awarded the kick, and Medina stepped up and drove a left-footed shot to the left of Clark, who had guessed to his right.

Brian Fernandez Scores to Give the Portland Timbers a Dramatic Win Over Sporting Kansas City

Brian Fernandez is celebrating a big win….

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.

Brian Fernandez

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.

Atlanta United’s Josef Martinez Scores for Record-Setting 11th Straight Match

Josef Martinez has kicked his way into the MLSrecord books…

The 26-year-old Venezuelan professional footballer, a striker for Atlanta United FC, scored for the 11th straight match, a Major League Soccer record, and his team cruised to a 2-0 win over the Portland Timbers on Sunday night at Portland’s Providence Park.

Josef Martinez

The win was Atlanta’s seventh in the past eight games across all competitions, and it vaulted them into first place in the MLS Eastern Conference. With goal differential as the tiebreaker, Atlanta United (14-9-3) took over first place from the Philadelphia Union, though both teams are on 45 points.

The Timbers (11-10-4) missed a chance to move up to fourth place in the Western Conference. The loss kept them in seventh place with the third tiebreaker advantage over FC Dallas, which is total goals scored.

Portland lost for just the second time in 10 league matches in a rematch of the two teams that played for the MLS Cuplast December, won by Atlanta. The Timbers have played three games of a 10-game homestead.

Leandro Gonzalez Pirez scored off a rebound of a blocked shot from Martinez in the 14th minute, and Atlanta took a 1-0 lead into halftime despite numerous chances for the Timbers.

The Timbers couldn’t convert an on-target header from Jeremy Ebobisse, saved by Brad Guzan in the 42nd minute, and had an apparent goal nullified by an offside call.

Atlanta United was close to a 2-0 lead in extra time of the first half, but Steve Clark stopped Ezequiel Barco‘s breakaway shot. They took the 2-0 lead 45 seconds into the second half when Martinez chipped an open shot past Clark after a pinpoint assist from Julian Gressel.

Martinez raised his season goal total to 21.

Portland defenderJulio Cascante had a header miraculously saved by Guzan, who had five saves, in the 64th minute.

Portland Timbers Finalize Transfer of Brian Fernandez from Necaxa

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.

Brian Fernandez

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 Rayos resurrected 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.

Atlanta United’s Josef Martinez Matches Major League Soccer Record for Goals in a Season

Josef Martinez is kicking his way into the MLS record books…

The 25-year-old Venezuelan soccer star has matched the Major League Soccer record for goals in a season with nine games remaining, as he scored his 27th of the year for Atlanta United on Sunday.

Josef Martinez

Martinez is on pace to blow past the league’s previous high, which was set by Roy Lassiter in the inaugural MLS season in 1996 and matched by Chris Wondolowski in 2012 and Bradley Wright-Phillips in 2014.

Martinez received a pass in the attacking third and made a run toward goal, turning a defender before curling a shot past Columbus Crew goalkeeper Zack Steffen from just inside the box to put his team ahead in the 31st minute.

The goal was his 46th in 45 career regular-season MLS games, and it broke the record he shared with David Villa for goals in a player’s first two seasons in the league.

All but one of Martinez’s goals have come from inside the 18-yard box, with his strike on Sunday from 17.8 yards the second-farthest he has scored in MLS since he signed from Torino last year.

Martinez broke the record in the 69th minute but his header went off the crossbar. Atlanta went on to win 3-1 to claim the best point total in MLS.

Martinez has scored in eight straight games, matching the second-longest streak in league history and one shy of the record Diego Valeri set with the Portland Timbers last year.

He’ll get the chance to extend his streak — and break the season goals record — on Friday at Orlando City, which has lost 13 of its last 15 games and has been outscored 43-18 in that span.