After plenty of rumors, tweets, and speculation, Hanyer Mosquera is now officially not a Timber. This morning Mosquera and the Portland Timbers mutually agreed to terminate his contract, freeing up Mosco to return home and play in his native Colombia.
Since mid-March, Mosco had been on a leave of absence from the Timbers. The team cited "personal reasons" for his departure and, in today's press release, that remained the case as the reason given for his departure was a "desire to return to Colombia in order to be closer to family and friends".
For the Timbers, Mosquera's departure frees up a place on the roster as well as an international slot, both of which will presumably be used for newly acquired defender Pa Modou Kah. It is unknown if any of Mosquera's salary will continue to impact the team's budget under the salary cap.
In addition to Mosquera's absence. recent season-ending injuries to defenders David Horst and Mikael SIlvestre put additional pressure on the Timbers to bring in a new defender to give the team some depth in addition to Futty Danso, Andrew Jean-Baptiste, and untried rookie Dylan Tucker-Gangnes.
The press release doesn't give much in the way of details, but the reference to his family certainly provides a clue. Back when he first joined the team, Mosquera shared that he was quite close with his parents. His mother, in particular, has a health condition that prevented her from flying to visit him in the US.
"When I was in Colombia, it was easier for my parents to be with me where I was playing," he said at the time. "So I'm going to miss that. It's going to be difficult."
The high value Mosquera placed on his family was one of the character traits that John Spencer and Gavin Wilkinson said they were looking for in international recruits. But not every player thrives under such circumstances, and it is entirely possible that Mosquera found that separation too difficult.
I will always remember Mosquera for his surprising speed, willingness to take on the league's physical forwards, and excellent partnership with David Horst toward the end on the 2012 season.
The Timbers' press release:
TIMBERS, HANYER MOSQUERA COME TO MUTUAL AGREEMENT TO TERMINATE CONTRACT
PORTLAND, Ore. – The Portland Timbers and defender Hanyer Mosquera have come to a mutual agreement to terminate his contract. Per league and club policy, terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
"We respected Hanyer’s desire to return to Colombia in order to be closer to family and friends, and we wish him the very best and appreciate his service to the club." said Gavin Wilkinson, Timbers general manager.
Mosquera played in 26 matches and recorded one assist for the Timbers during the 2012 season.