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Portland Timbers Sign First Ever Designated Player in Colombian Diego Chará

Well this certainly wasn't expected so close to our home opener and the closing of the MLS pre-season transfer window, but it looks like the Portland Timbers and Merritt Paulson have come through on their word of delivering a Designated Player prior to our home opener. That man is Colombian playmaking midfielder Diego Chará who comes from  Colombian first division side Deportes Tolima.

"Diego possesses a tireless work ethic, speed and exceptional technical ability," said Wilkinson. "He has consistently performed at a high level in Colombia and we’ve watched him closely for the past six months. We’ve stated that should a player become available that is exciting, young, talented, attack-minded and worth an investment of this type, we would definitely look to sign him. Diego is the right fit for the city and this organization."

Here's the player information:

Chará, 25, joins the Timbers from Colombian first-division club Deportes Tolima, where he helped orchestrate one of the most prolific offenses in the Liga Postobón. Playing in a team-high 42 games in 2010, Chará was instrumental in Tolima’s production of a league-best 88 goals scored over the course of the campaign and in the club’s first-place overall finish in the standings.

Prior to joining the Timbers, Chará scored two goals in nine league matches for Tolima as the club led the Liga Postobón in scoring through the first 11 games of the 2011 Apertura season with 23 goals. He also played in seven games in the 2011 Copa Libertadores, tallying an assist in a 2-0 win over Brazilian power Corinthians in the early stages of the tournament.

Diego Chará will rejoin fellow teammate Jorge Perlaza upon his arrival. There is currently no word on whether or not he will play in Thursday's game although, if I had to guess, I'd say no. My guess is we won't see him until next weekend.