In their third move of the morning, the Portland Timbers announced the signing of Colombian winger Dairon Asprilla from Alianza Petrolera in Colombia. A right-sided attacking player with a scoring touch, Asprilla joins the Timbers following a successful Torneo Finalización campaign that saw him score five goals in seventeen games.
Only 22 years old but with 71 appearances for Alianza, Asprilla provides some of the depth in the attack that the Timbers need going into their 2015 season. The move provides backup and competition for Darlington Nagbe on the right wing, and gives the Timbers some flexibility with who the team deploys in the center of the pitch during Diego Valeri's absence due to injury at the start of the season.
Whether Asprilla will compete immediately for first team minutes or spend most of his time with the newly forming Timbers 2 side remains to be seen, but given his successes in the competitive Colombian league, it seems likely that he is destined for the first team.
Check out a long compilation of Asprilla's 2014 highlights below:
The Timbers' press release:
TIMBERS SIGN COLOMBIAN WINGER/FORWARD DAIRON ASPRILLA
Experienced 22-year-old joins Portland from Alianza Petrolera in Colombia
PORTLAND, Ore. – The Portland Timbers have signed Colombian winger/forward Dairon Asprilla, it was announced today. He will be added to the Timbers’ roster pending the receipt of his International Transfer Certificate (ITC) and P-1 visa. Per league and club policy, terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Asprilla, 22, joins the Timbers from Colombian Primera División side Alianza Petrolera. A native of Istmina, Colombia, Asprilla made 71 regular-season appearances for Alianza Petrolera after joining the team on loan from Atlético Nacional in 2012.
Playing primarily as a right winger, Asprilla registered five goals in 17 matches, logging 1,431 minutes of action during the 2014 Torneo Finalización. He made nine appearances during the 2014 Torneo Apertura campaign, netting two goals while also logging time in three 2014 Copa Colombia games.
Playing his first season on loan with Alianza Petrolera in 2012, Asprilla helped the side gain promotion to the Primera División, scoring 10 goals in 33 regular-season appearances across both Apertura and Finalización seasons in the second division. He appeared in five 2012 Finalización playoff matches as Alianza Petrolera defeated América de Cali on penalty kicks in the final to gain a spot in the first division for the first time in 2013.
Asprilla scored Alianza Petrolera’s first goal in Primera División play, netting the game-winning goal in a 1-0 victory over La Equidad on Feb. 9, 2013. Before joining Alianza Petrolera, Asprilla appeared in three Copa Colombia matches for Atlético Nacional during the 2011 edition of the tournament.
Asprilla will occupy an international slot on the Timbers roster.
Pronunciation: DIE-ron ah-SPREE-ah
Born: May 25, 1992, in Istmina, Colombia
Last Club: Alianza Petrolera (Colombia)
Acquired: Signed on Dec. 8, 2014