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More Smoke: Julio Cascante to Portland?

Costa Rica v Haiti: Group B - 2015 CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

This rumor certainly hasn’t developed along an ordinary trajectory, but it’s developing nonetheless: A whole host of Costa Rican journalists are reporting Saprissa centerback Julio Cascante is coming to the Portland Timbers.

We ran down a fuller history of this rumor a couple weeks ago, but here’s the TL;DR version: Cascante was linked to the Timbers last spring, but it sounded more like a longer-term target; then the rumor went completely silent for months; then rumors of him coming to MLS (and maybe Portland?) started popping up again earlier this month, timing that lined up conveniently with Gavin Wilkinson making a trip to Costa Rica (on the same weekend in which Saprissa played Herediano).

Well, we just got a whole bunch more. It started this afternoon with a tweet from Yashin Quesada, a Costa Rican sports journalist who covers Saprissa.

And then we got a bunch more. Here are a couple:

So that’s where we stand. Multiple Costa Rican journalists are saying Cascante is leaving Saprissa to join the Timbers with perhaps at least some degree of confirmation by the club itself. The timing of the reports isn’t especially surprising; Saprissa was eliminated from the cuadrangular last weekend, ending their season.

Costa Rican reports about Cascante to Portland were a little bit out over their skis back in the spring, but this is clearly something to take seriously at this point given the numerous reports from some of the best journalists in Costa Rica and potentially even some degree of confirmation from Saprissa.

Still, we don’t have any U.S.-based reports. With the holidays-induced quiet period rapidly approaching I’m not sure we’ll see anything in the immediate future and the Timbers did not immediately respond to an after-hours request for comment.

But there’s an awful lot of smoke out there now about this particular rumor.

UPDATE: TDMas, a major Costa Rican outlet, chimed in with their own (quite intense) tweet. The picture, for clarity, is of Ulises Segura, a 24-year-old attacking midfielder who is reportedly on his way to D.C. United.

UPDATE #2: Arch Bell, who as much as perhaps any other journalist has reach in both Central and South America as well as the United States, is confirming the report of Cascante to Portland.

Although we still don’t have anything from the Timbers on whether Cascante has been signed, the amount of smoke is getting overwhelming. It’s looking very much like Julio Cascante is going to be a Timber.