The Portland Timbers' on-loan winger is on-loan no more as Caleb Porter confirmed at today's training session that Ishmael Yartey's loan, as well as his visa, was up. Yartey, who played 227 minutes for the Timbers in five games since joining the team in late March, has returned home while his future with the Timbers is decided, Porter said.
After starting three straight games from late April to early May, the only action that Yartey had seen of late was a single two-minute appearance against the Colorado Rapids when he managed to provide the key assist on Jack Jewsbury's dramatic game-winning goal, giving the Timbers their second win in the four game run that catapulted them out of the basement of the Western Conference.
Porter did not rule out the possibility of Yartey returning to the Timbers for the remainder of the season, saying that extending the winger's loan could happen but depends on a number of factors. The willingness of FC Sion, Yartey's parent club, to continue the loan, the terms offered to the Timbers, and how the Timbers feel he will fit into the team for the remainder of the season all come into play as the team evaluates a possible return for Yartey.
If Yartey does not come back, the Timbers will have freed up an international roster spot, giving the team increased flexibility for the upcoming summer transfer window, which runs from July 8th to August 6th this year. Without Yartey on hand, the Timbers currently have 26 players on the team roster, two under the maximum of 28. Under the current MLS roster rules, 26 is the fewest possible number of players a team may carry on their roster.
Additionally, if the Timbers do not bring Yartey back the team will also free up salary cap space, although Yartey's salary has not been disclosed and it is hard to determine just what kind of cap hit the Timbers were taking from his salary. Still, the Timbers have been occasionally linked with a new designated player and the team may need to free up cap space if that is to come to fruition.
What do you think? Should the Timbers bring back Yartey?