According to an executive at Peruvian soccer club Universitario Deportes, former Portland Timbers player Andy Polo had his contract paid in full by Major League Soccer and the Timbers after it was “terminated” in February. In addition, according to the executive Polo was also asked not to sue the league or the club as his contract was terminated without cause.
Ryan Clarke at the Oregonian and Jeffrey Carlisle of ESPN first reported this on Wednesday.
BREAKING: According to a @Universitario executive, MLS paid out Andy Polo’s contract in full when he was terminated by the Timbers in February.— Ryan Clarke (@RyanTClarke) March 23, 2022
The league allegedly did so with an understanding that Polo would not sue them for wrongful termination. #RCTID https://t.co/JrMvr4npf3
Andy Polo paid in full by MLS and Portland Timbers following allegations says Universitario executive. #RCTID https://t.co/qLsY3HkV2u— Jeff Carlisle (@JeffreyCarlisle) March 24, 2022
Giancarlo Mandriotti, the legal and corporate manager for Universitario, shared the comments in a press conference in which the club defended its signing of Polo. The Peruvian midfielder had his contract terminated in February when new allegations of domestic violence surfaced from Polo’s estranged wife Genesis Alarcon, and he recently signed with Universitario.
“When the MLS realized that Andy Polo had not committed any act of a criminal nature, they asked Andy Polo to sign the document by which they harmoniously end their relationship,” Mandriotti said via a translator. “Andy was paid the full amount of his contract. MLS asked him to please not sue them because Andy was separated without just cause.”
When reached for comment by the Oregonian and ESPN, MLS shared the following statement:
“Upon learning of the domestic violence allegations against Andy Polo, Major League Soccer and the Portland Timbers determined that his conduct did not represent the values of the league or club and promptly terminated Mr. Polo’s playing contract.”
“MLS’ priority was to (1) separate Mr. Polo from the club and (2) ensure the league was able to conduct a thorough and fair investigation into the club’s conduct. Following the player’s termination, the MLS Players Association filed a grievance challenging the termination of Mr. Polo’s contract. The league determined that settling the grievance and focusing on the league’s investigation was appropriate. Any other comment will be reserved until the issuance of MLS’ investigative report which will be released soon.”
A heavily redacted separation agreement dated for February 24 obtained by The Oregonian and ESPN indicated that Andy Polo “fully and finally resolve all disputes or potential disputes” with MLS and the Timbers in exchange for a financial settlement.
NEW: Obtained a copy of the separation agreement between MLS and Andy Polo, wherein Polo is required to “fully and finally resolve all disputes or potential disputes” with MLS and the Timbers in exchange for a financial settlement.— Ryan Clarke (@RyanTClarke) March 23, 2022
Added this to our story as well. #RCTID pic.twitter.com/wSWIO209iV
This all is different from how Polo’s separation from the club was framed in February. The club shared on February 10 that Andy Polo had his contract terminated, rather than have the full contract bought out. The claims that Andy Polo, which had his option year picked up by the club in December, had the remainder of his contract paid out in full is a new development.
According to data made available by the MLS Players’ Association, Polo’s salary for 2021 was $500,000. The full amount paid by MLS to Polo has not been shared.
The Timbers are currently under investigation by the league for their handling of the May 23 2021 incident of alleged domestic violence between Alarcon and Polo. The findings of the investigation are reportedly expected to be made public this week, according to Clarke’s story in The Oregonian.