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Official: Timbers Sign Andy Polo

Soccer: 2016 Copa America Centenario-Peru at Colombia Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

Amid weeks of speculation, the Portland Timbers have officially announced the acquisition of Andy Polo from Monarcas Morelia in Liga MX, pending a physical and receipt of his International Transfer Certificate (ITC) and P-1 visa. Portland used Targeted Allocation Money to make the first major signing of the Giovanni Savarese era.

“Andy has strong technical ability and is able to stretch opponents and run in behind defenses,” Savarese said in a statement released by the Timbers. “He will provide us with another quality option as a winger, and we are very pleased to add him to the team this season.”

Polo gives Portland versatility, a winger who is capable of playing all three positions up top in a 4-3-3. Polo mostly tends to play on the right wing, meaning it is likely it will be Sebastian Blanco who is replacing Darlington Nagbe’s spot as the left midfielder.

One wrinkle in the Timbers official announcement is that the deal to acauire Polo is structured as a loan with an option to purchase. ESPN’s Jeff Carlisle reports that loan structure came about at the last minute, but it does not apparently change the total expected financial outlay.

The Timbers may be using the loan-with-an-option structure to keep Polo’s transfer — which has been reported at numerous transfer-fee amounts, but most recently at $2 million — within the $1.5 million annual cap hit of a TAM player.

However structured, though, the Timbers have got their man. What do you think about Polo’s signing?

Chris Rifer contributed to this report.