Riding a 16-game unbeaten streak, the Portland Timbers did not rest on their laurels on the final day of the secondary transfer window Wednesday, making three moves.
According to multiple reports, the team brought back defender Jorge Villafana and attacker Lucas Melano, after announcing the trade of defender Vytas to D.C. United for $50,000 in targeted allocation money.
According to MLSsoccer.com’s Sam Stejskal, the Timbers are trading with the LA Galaxy to acquire the No. 1 allocation spot and secure Villafana — who has been with Liga MX club Santos Laguna — on a contract that runs through the 2021 season.
ESPN’s Jeff Carlisle reports the Galaxy will receive around $175,000 combined in general allocation money and targeted allocation in exchange for the No. 1 spot.
Villafana has to re-enter the league through allocation because his departure, from Portland to Santos in December 2015, was for a fee exceeding $500,000. His salary is expected to slightly eclipse the team’s maximum budget in 2018, requiring the Timbers to either buy it down with targeted allocation money or make him a designated player.
Villafana, who turns 29 in September, played in 52 games (50 starts) from 2014-15 with the Timbers, tallying two goals and seven assists. He also has 19 international caps for the U.S. National Team, all since 2017.
Stejskal also reported the Timbers are finalizing the return of Melano, who joined Portland as a designated player in 2015 but spent the last year and a half on loan with Argentina clubs Belgrano and Estudiantes. He is expected to remain on Portland’s roster at least through the end of the season.
Melano, 25, tallied four goals and eight assists in 44 games (35 starts) for the Timbers from 2015-16. He posted no goals and one assist in 16 games with Belgrano before collecting five goals and one assist in 26 games with Estudiantes.
Vytas (whose full name is Vytas Andriuškevicius) played in 37 games (29 starts) across parts of three seasons with Portland, including 23 games (19 starts) in 2017, when he totaled four assists.
“It has been a pleasure coaching Vytas this season and we wish him all the best with his new club,” head coach Giovanni Savarese said in a statement.
The team also announced it traded an international spot for the remainder of the 2018 season to the Montreal Impact in exchange for $50,000 in general allocation money.
—Field Level Media