Have the Portland Timbers landed their TAM-level attacker?
Libero.pe, a Peruvian outlet, is reporting that the Timbers are close to signing Peruvian winger Andy Polo from Liga MX club Monarcas Morelia.
Polo, 23, plays primarily as a right winger and has made 15 appearances and eight starts for the Peruvian national team since his debut in 2016, including nine appearances and four starts during Peru’s successful 2018 World Cup qualifying run. Polo scored in his debut for La Blanquirroja, a 3-1 friendly victory over El Salvador.
Signed by Monarcas Morelia before the 2017 Clausura, Polo made 26 all-competitions appearances (24 in Liga MX) for La Monarquia in 2017, scoring three goals in that time. Polo, however, fell out of favor with Morelia manager Roberto Hernandez during the 2017 Apertura, seeing his playing time cut almost in half from the spring campaign.
Although this is the initial report linking Polo to the Timbers, the timing of the report adds significant plausibility to the ultimate signing. Not only is Polo a match for the profile of attacker that the Timbers have said they are pursuing this winter, but earlier on Thursday owner Merritt Paulson indicated in a now-deleted tweet that the Timbers have agreed to terms with an attacking player and are hoping to finalize the signing as soon as Friday.
If Polo joins up with the Timbers, he figures to be the front runner for the starting spot on the right wing with Sebastian Blanco taking up a more consistent residence on the left. Whether Polo is the mystery attacker that Paulson referred to remains to be seen, but at this point signs point to Portland being a likely landing spot for the Peruvian winger.
Reached after hours, the Timbers declined to comment on the report.