It has long been rumored that the Portland Timbers have been targeting Cameroonian forward Alexis Meva for addition to their USL side, T2, and now that rumor has been confirmed as definitively as it can be short of an official press release. Yesterday, Meva posted a picture of himself on the pitch of Providence Park to Instagram.
A product of the Barcelona youth system for the last eight years, Meva, 18, only recently returned to the Catalan giants' Juvenil A side in January after a yearlong loan to FC Badalona Jugend that ended in July. In the interim, Meva appears to have fallen afoul of the transfer ban imposed on Barcelona by FIFA, preventing them from registering any new players during 2015 -- apparently including returning loanees.
Despite playing with playing in the Barcelona system as recently as January 16th, it appears that Meva has been released from his contract on his request and will be signing with T2 on a free transfer.
In the young Cameroonian, T2 are getting a No. 9 striker whose default position is up top, but is also reportedly comfortable on the wings. Of the players currently on the T2 roster or likely to be loaned down from the first team, Kharlton Belmar, Michael Seaton, and Ben Polk, as well as probable signee Neco Brett, appear to be Meva's competition for the center forward and two wing positions that the Timbers favor.
Interestingly, Meva will not be the Timbers organization's first Cameroonian player to have come from the Barcelona youth ranks: Franck Songo'o, although he had some stops in-between, was also a product of La Masia.
With the T2 roster currently in need of reinforcements at several spots, do not be surprised if more signings for the Timbers' USL side, including making Meva official, are not announced soon.