Well, that was quick.
Just hours after rumors started circulating that Gaston Fernandez, "La Gata", was headed from the Portland Timbers to Argentina's Estudiantes, it appears that the reports are true. The Timbers have issued a release stating that the team has agreed to "mutually terminate" Fernandez's contract, freeing him to potentially return to Estudiantes, his former club.
Since joining the Timbers in 2014, Fernandez has scored nine goals and provided four assists, all while making appearances as a striker, central attacking midfielder, and left winger in the Timbers' interchanging attack
Fernandez's departure comes just after the signing of the similarly positionally diverse Lucas Melano, a fellow Argentine, from Lanus in the Argentinian top flight. While, Melano's arrival certainly had little to no baring on Fernandez's departure, it makes the loss sting a little less as the Timbers still have a level of coverage throughout the attack.
The loss of Fernandez leaves the Timbers with two open slots on their roster and at least one international roster slot, giving the Timbers some flexibility should they decide to bring in another player. If they want someone from abroad, however, the Timbers will need to act fast as the current transfer window closes on August 6th, this Thursday.
The Timbers' press release:
TIMBERS, GASTÓN FERNÁNDEZ MUTUALLY AGREE TO PART WAYS
PORTLAND, Ore. – The Portland Timbers and forward/midfielder Gastón Fernández have mutually parted ways, it was announced today. Per league and club policy, terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
“We would like to thank Gastón for his contributions to the club the past two seasons,” said Gavin Wilkinson, general manager of the Timbers. “We wish him nothing but the best in his future endeavors.”
Fernández, who originally signed with the Timbers on Jan. 15, 2014, appeared in 53 games (23 starts), recording nine goals and four assists in his two seasons with Portland. During the 2014 season, Fernández recorded 12 goals in all competitions for the Timbers, including games in the 2014-15 CONCACAF Champions League tournament and Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.
“I’ve enjoyed coaching Gastón and have appreciated his contributions and commitment to the club,” said Caleb Porter, head coach of the Timbers.
This season, Fernández appeared in 21 games (6 starts), recording two goals and two assists, while also logging two appearances in the 2015 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.