The Portland Timbers are set to bring back their starting right back from the team that made the 2021 MLS Cup Final. A source within the club confirmed that Josecarlos Van Rankin has joined up with the team in Tucson, Arizona, and it is expected that he will be signing with the team soon.
Van Rankin was on loan from Liga MX side Chivas de Guadalajara for the 2021 season. The right fullback’s loan deal expired at the end of the season and the club remained in discussions concerning his future.
It is believed that Van Rankin will be joining the Timbers on a loan deal once again. The terms and length of the loan are unknown at this time.
It was teased earlier this week that the Timbers were nearing a solution to their situation regarding the right back position. A solution was needed because as of now, the only primarily right-sided fullback on the roster is Pablo Bonilla — who played a backup role to Van Rankin last season. The solution seems to be the return of Van Rankin.
Adding more fuel to that fire, Van Rankin posted an image on his Instagram Story yesterday from a seat on an airplane implying that he was on his way to his next team — presumably the Timbers.
Van Rankin’s return would mean that a key contributor from 2021 is back in the fold. Van Rankin showed his reliability by playing in 33 matches last season and logging the third-most minutes on the roster. He also exhibited versatility by appearing at both the right back and left back positions. He showed a propensity to go forward in the attack and was relied upon by head coach Giovanni Savarese as a consistent contributor for all of last season.
No official word has been given by the club yet but it appears that we can expect the imminent return of a key piece from Portland’s 2021 campaign and a key piece for the 2022 edition.