The offseason announcements are coming thick and fast for the Portland Timbers, and they have announced two key contract extensions over the past few days.
Felipe Mora extended — with a restructured contract
On Monday, the Timbers announced that they have signed forward Felipe Mora to a contract extension through 2025, with a club option for an additional year. Mora is coming off of a frustrating year which saw him sidelined for the start after recovering from offseason knee surgery. He played just 78 minutes for Portland after having to be shut down for the year for additional cartilage restoration surgery on the same previously injured knee.
The Timbers are betting that despite the setbacks, Mora can rediscover his scintillating form that he showed in 2021. Timbers technical director Ned Grabavoy certainly seems to back this bet, as on the signing he said, “We have confidence that he can return to being an impact level player for us, and take pride in him being a member of this club.”
Crucially, Grabavoy also revealed that Mora’s extension is also a reworking of his existing contract. “This is a unique situation in which Felipe’s unselfishness to work with the club in restructuring the contract, affords us the ability to continue to fully support him in his rehab process.”
Mora was on a contract whose cap hit was bought down using Targeted Allocation Money. The official details of the reworked deal is unknown, but it is strongly inferred that the years added on to the contract would alleviate some of the short-term cap hit to the Timbers.
On-field, the lack of a consistent threat on goal was arguably the biggest hindrance to Portland’s success in 2022, and this is an area that Mora could have helped out with immensely were he fully healthy. Head coach Giovannai Savarese knows this, and is keen to potentially have Mora back in form in the future.
“Felipe has been a very important figure to the success of our club during the past few years and we missed his contributions during the 2022 season,” Savarese said. “Despite the adversities he has had to face, we have never seen him surrender. Knowing the hardworking and incredible person he is, I have no doubt he will come back stronger than ever and ready to continue to contribute to the team.”
You can red the Timbers full press release on Mora’s extension here.
Claudio Bravo inks contract extension through 2026
On Wednesday the Timbers announced that fullback Claudio Bravo has signed a contract extension to keep him in green and gold through at least 2026, with a club option for 2027.
Since arriving in 2021, the 23-year-old defender has quickly entrenched himself as one of the first names on the team sheet for Savarese, and has quickly risen to become one of the most active left-backs in MLS. After a shaky defensive start to life as a Timbers player, Bravo has settled in and led the entire league in tackles won last season with 77. Additionally, he topped the charts for the Timbers last season in interceptions (47), touches (1921) and duels won (184) during the regular season.
Bravo, Bravo— Portland Timbers (@TimbersFC) November 16, 2022
Our No. 5 extends his time in the Rose City with a new deal through 2026.#RCTID
A marauding fullback who is unafraid to drive forward and join the attack, Bravo has become a key piece of both Portland’s attack and defense during his time in MLS. With some key changes looming on the horizon, keeping the continuity and level of production is an important part of Portland’s offseason.
Grabavoy praised Bravo for his contributions to the Timbers, and expressed optimism at his continued impact. On the contract extension, he said, “Claudio has become an essential player for the team during his time with the Timbers. We’re glad he will be in Portland for years to come and see him continuing to be an influential contributor on the field.”
Savarese echoed those sentiments, and also emphasized his excitement for helping Bravo develop into a more complete player. “Claudio has been an important component of our defense for the past few years. He has shown great skills and growth in many areas to make us a more competitive team,” Savarese said. “We’re looking forward to helping him reach his full potential.”
You can read the full story on Bravo’s extension here.