The Portland Timbers’ search for their next centerback — and perhaps centerbacks — appears to be heating up.
A series of Twitter reports on Friday indicate the Timbers have signed a targeted allocation money-level centerback currently playing in Turkey, and may also be looking at adding Saprissa central defender Julio Castante in the future.
This development became clear after a somewhat meandering series of tweets from various sources. First, a report came from MLS Transfers that the Timbers have signed Castante.
Source: Julio Cascante is joining the Portland Timbers from Saprissa on a full transfer.— MLS Transfers (@MLSTransfers) April 14, 2017
While not altogether accurate, that report certainly started the ball rolling. A source tells Stumptown Footy that although the Timbers have signed an unnamed centerback, that signing is not Cascante.
Now hearing PTFC has inked a CB, but not Cascante. Given Gavin & Ned were at Saprissa, interest wouldn't surprise me, but not immediate. https://t.co/0OyfGOEj7e— Chris Rifer (@ChrisRifer) April 14, 2017
In addition, Steven Goff at the Washington Post reports the Timbers have taken interest in Cascante, but if he is signed it would not be until next winter.
ESPN’s Taylor Twellman chimed in, however, with this additional tidbit:
@ChrisRifer As I said during my last POR game I'd be shocked if it isn't a Turkish league CB coming in soon if not immediately— Taylor Twellman (@TaylorTwellman) April 14, 2017
Not to be outdone by his television counterpart, ESPN’s chief keyboard jockey, Jeff Carlisle, clarified that the Timbers are, in fact, interested in Cascante, but as a longer-term prospect. Moreover, Carlisle proved it is, in fact, possible to bury a lede in the space of 140 characters by adding that PTFC’s already-signed centerback playing in Turkey is a TAM-level player.
Can confirm that Portland is interested in Saprissa D Julio Cascante. He's a prospect tho, & not the TAM-level D #TimbersFC are pursuing.— Jeff Carlisle (@JeffreyCarlisle) April 14, 2017
We do not, however, know whether the TAM-level centerback would arrive in Portland in the current transfer window (which is open until the first week of May) or in the July transfer window.
To recap: The Timbers are interested in Julio Cascante, but as a prospect and probably not until next winter. The Timbers have, however, signed a TAM-level centerback who is currently playing in Turkey, but we do not know when he will arrive.