Portland Timbers 2012 Player Rankings #33: Jorge Perlaza

Richard Wolowicz

Jorge Perlaza earned his place in the Timbers history books with some important goals in 2011 but his 2012 season went nowhere.

Before being traded to the Philadelphia Union for hometown boy Danny Mwanga, Perlaza made John Spencer's starting eleven six times including in the final game before he was traded, the Timbers first match against Vancouver of the 2012 season, which ended in a 1-1 draw. In the eighty eight minutes he played that game he registered three shots, one of which was on goal, and before the news came that he was on his way out it seemed like things might be turning around for the speedy Colombian. Up until that game the season had seen a slow start hampered by injures for Jorge as he had registered just four shots, one on goal, in over four hundred minutes of play.

At the start of the season, the expectation was that Perlaza's industry and speed would create space for Kris Boyd in which to work his Scottish magic and bang in the goals one after another. Ideally, the Timbers' new premier striker's style would be complimented by Perlaza in a way that Kenny Cooper's never was. However, it never quite worked out that way and a lack of service to the forwards up top left Perlaza to create his own opportunities either through dribbling or interplay with Boyd, neither of which worked out particularly well for Perlaza or the Timbers.

Once he was moved on from the Timbers, Perlaza was instantly on the outside in Philadelphia as Piotr Nowak, the very manager who proposed the baffling trade that brought him to the Union, was sacked for reportedly being a real jerk. After playing only two games for Philly, Perlaza was waived by then-interim head coach John Hackworth and returned to Colombia where he signed with Millonarios.

Do you wish Perlaza was still a Timber?

Although it seemed so often that Jorge was going to click with the rest of the team and find his form as a striker in MLS, it just never happened. I will always remember his breakaway pull-back goal around Sean Johnson to christen Jeld-Wen into Major League Soccer and his deflected goal to put the Timbers up against Seattle in the first Cascadia Cup match at Jeld-Wen, but I will also remember the countless balls given away in the enemy's penalty box and the twelve offside calls that he accumulated this season alone. I will always remember Perlaza, but I don't need any more memories of Perlaza.

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