After years of speculation linking them, the Portland Timbers announced this morning that they had signed winger Yimmi Chara from Brazilian side Clube Atlético Mineiro. Y. Chara joins the Timbers on a designated player contract, leaving the side with one DP spot left open as Gavin Wilkinson and company look to construct their 2020 roster.
Y. Chara, 28, is the younger brother of Timbers legend Diego Chara, but where his brother has been settled with the Timbers for the last nine years, Y. Chara has bounced around the South and Central American leagues. Most recently, Chara spent the last season-and-a-half with Mineiro, joining the side in July of 2018 on a $5.87m transfer from Colombian side Junior FC. While in Brazil, Chara notched four goals and eight assists for Mineiro before being sidelined by injury halfway through the 2019 season.
As 2019 comes to an end we are working hard on some big Timbers moves (incl this jersey which we have been trying to get for 2 yrs now!). Expect another big re-signing and several prominent new additions in the coming weeks!— Merritt Paulson (@MerrittPaulson) December 26, 2019
2020 will be big. Thanks to you all for your support pic.twitter.com/fzMcfY4tr3
Like his brother, Chara is a player comfortable with short, quick passing and interplay while also able to stretch the field with his willingness and ability to cover ground. Unlike his brother, however, Y. Chara does all of this with a more attacking bent, with highlights of his play featuring speedy runs into space down the flank or a quick cut inside to fire off a shot from the top of the box.
Given the Timbers’ current group of attacking players, Chara seems bound for the right wing opposite Sebastian Blanco on the left and providing service Jeremy Ebobisse — or the Timbers’ unknown designated player forward target — at center forward.
The Timbers’ press release:
TIMBERS ACQUIRE MIDFIELDER YIMMI CHARA AS DESIGNATED PLAYER
Colombian international joins Portland with more than 350 professional appearances in top leagues of Brazil, Colombia and Mexico
PORTLAND, Ore. – The Portland Timbers have acquired Colombian international midfielder Yimmi Chara as a Designated Player via transfer from Brazilian Série A side Clube Atlético Mineiro, it was announced today.
Chara, 28, joins Portland with over 350 professional appearances in the top leagues of Brazil, Colombia and Mexico since making his professional debut in 2010 with Colombian Primera A side Deportes Tolima. A native of Cali, Colombia, Chara, who will join his brother Diego at the club, has played the last two seasons with Atlético Mineiro (2018-19), where he has scored 10 goals in 68 appearances (60 starts) across all competitions. Additionally, Chara tallied three goals in eight appearances for Atlético Mineiro in Copa Sudamericana play, while featuring in eight Copa Libertadores matches in 2019.
“Yimmi is a player we have followed closely for nearly 10 years and having the resources made available to bring him to Portland is tremendous for everyone in the club,” said GM and President of Soccer Gavin Wilkinson. “He is a quality player and person who has proved himself at the highest level for both club and country and having two Charas on the same team is something we are all very excited about.”
Prior to Atlético Mineiro, Chara played two seasons for Colombian Primera A side Atlético Junior (2017-18), where he tallied 18 goals in 52 appearances (47 starts) across all competitions. Additionally, Chara helped Atlético Junior win the 2017 Copa Colombia.
Beginning his professional career with Deportivo Tolima, Chara made 163 appearances (132 starts) and tallied 38 goals across five seasons (2010-14) with the Colombian side. Notably, Chara tallied five goals in 11 appearances on the way to helping Tolima claim its first-ever Copa Colombia title in 2014.
“Yimmi is a fantastic player. He has shown his qualities everywhere he has been. His work ethic and determination will make us a more competitive team,” said Giovanni Savarese, head coach of the Timbers. “Yimmi is a well-rounded professional like his brother and will add versatility to the squad as he can play in a variety of positions.”
In Mexico, Chara played for Liga MX side C.F. Monterrey (2014-17), where tallied 12 goals in 61 appearances (39 starts) across all competitions, including one goal in three Concacaf Champions League appearances. Chara played on loan with Colombian Primera A side Atlético Nacional in 2015, where he made 26 appearances (24 starts) and tallied five goals en route to helping the club become the Liga Águila 2015 Finalización Champion. Additionally, Chara was loaned out to Liga MX side Dorados de Sinaloa in 2016, where he scored one goal in 16 appearances (16 starts).
At the international level, Chara has made 10 appearances for the Colombia Men’s National Team, tallying one goal and an assist since making his debut in a 3-0 win over El Salvador on Oct. 10, 2014. Chara scored the game-winning goal, the first of his international career, in a 2-1 victory against Venezuela on Sept. 7, 2018. Notably, Chara made four appearances for Colombia in 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying in South America.
“I am very happy and excited to join the Timbers. Everything my brother has done and what he has mentioned about the team and the city is a great indication of what things could be for me and my family next season,” said Timbers midfielder Yimmi Chara. “I am going through a great moment in my career and I feel confident I will be able to give the organization my best to help them achieve their goals on and off the field.”
Chara will occupy an international slot on the Timbers roster.
Transaction: Portland Timbers acquire midfielder Yimmi Chara as a Designated Player via transfer from Brazilian Série A side Clube Atlético Mineiro on Jan. 2, 2020.
Born: April 2, 1991, in Cali, Colombia
Last Club: Clube Atlético Mineiro (Brazil)
Acquired: Acquired via transfer from Brazilian Série A side Clube Atlético Mineiro on Jan. 2, 2020.