The Portland Timbers’ offseason may finally be heating up.
Late Saturday night MLS Transfers reported the Timbers have signed Deportivo Saprissa and Costa Rican international defensive midfielder David Guzman to a two-year contract.
Source: Saprissa midfielder David Guzman has signed with the Portland Timbers. 2 year deal. #PTFC— MLS Transfers (@MLSTransfers) December 11, 2016
That report was followed this morning by a flurry of reports out of Costa Rica that the Timbers is either interested in, or has already completed the signing of, Guzman.
La Nación, one of the largest media outlets in Costa Rica, reported on Sunday that the Timbers have expressed interest in Guzman, but that a Saprissa spokesperson stated the club has not reached any final decision regarding bids from the Timbers or any other team.
Other reports, however, suggested the Timbers were on the brink of signing Guzman.
OFICIAL| David Guzmán dejará el Deportivo Saprissa para unirse al Portland Timbers de la MLS https://t.co/qlIgKGoaKX— FutbolCostaRica (@FutbolCostaRica) December 11, 2016
David Guzmán dejara el Deportivo Saprissa para vincularse al Portland Timbers de la MLS. El fichaje de Guzman se... https://t.co/5JdffNjjAC— Fichajes a lo Tico ⚽ (@FichajesAloTico) December 11, 2016
The 26 year-old Guzman is a physical, holding midfielder who has started in Saprissa’s midfield for the past four years, and helped La S to three Primera Division titles during that span. Guzman has also worked his way into the Costa Rican national team picture over the past couple years, but has not yet broken into the first-choice team on a consistent basis.
With the retirement of Jack Jewsbury and Ben Zemanski’s injury troubles over the past two seasons, it was clear that the Timbers were going to have to make a first-choice addition to their defensive midfield to partner with mainstay Diego Chara.
In light of the fact that Caleb Porter was recently on a scouting trip to Costa Rica and the apparent fit between Guzman and the Timbers’ needs, there is reason to believe the reports connecting Guzman and the Timbers are credible at least to some extent. Whether the signing is complete, close, or is still in discussions, however, remains very much up in the air.
Nonetheless, after what has already been an arduous offseason, the Guzman reports represent the first serious stories connecting the Timbers to a significant international signing.
And that comes as a breath of fresh air.