According to a report from Ryan Clarke of The Oregonian, the Portland Timbers may have finally made a striker signing.
Clarke reported today that the Timbers have signed forward Nathan Fogaça to the first team. The Brazilian forward was originally signed to Timbers 2, Portland’s MLS NEXT Pro affiliate, on April 22. Now, the 22-year-old striker is reportedly on his way into the first team.
BREAKING: The Timbers’ striker signing is 22-year-old Brazilian forward Nathan Fogaça, who originally signed with T2 on April 22.— Ryan Clarke (@RyanTClarke) May 3, 2022
Fogaça scored 13 goals and notched four assists for USL side San Antonio FC last season. #RCTID https://t.co/evk9LzgXHa
Fogaça, who prefers to go by just his first name, Nathan, teased the signing yesterday. Clarke also reported yesterday that Timbers’ GM, Gavin Wilkinson, was confident the team would make a forward signing “within the next 24 hours”. Wilkinson also shared that the signing would be a depth piece that could start to contribute right away.
While fans wondered and speculated whom the signing would be, if reports are to be believed, the player was already wearing green and gold.
Nathan would come to the first team with some previous experience in the USL Championship. Last season, he was on loan to San Antonio FC from Brazilian side Coritiba FC. While in Texas, Nathan scored 13 goals and added four assists in 34 games played. He was a key piece that helped San Antonio reach the conference final in the USL Championship, where they ultimately fell in penalty kicks. Nathan’s time stateside helps give him some domestic experience already, which the technical staff are hoping can translate into immediate impact.
Nathan has played two games with Timbers 2 in the MLS NEXT Pro league so far. In his debut against Real Monarchs, he was one of the most dangerous players on the field, rattling the woodwork in the first half. After the game ended in a 1-1 draw, he also scored the first penalty in the shootout, helping T2 on their way to a shootout win. His next game, a 3-1 loss for T2 on the road against Colorado Rapids 2, saw Nathan record his first assist.
The reported signing comes at a time when goal-scoring has dried up for the first team — the Timbers have been held scoreless for three straight games. With Felipe Mora due to be out until July, homegrown striker Tega Ikoba still working his way back to full fitness, and designated player forward Jaroslaw Niezgoda having scored just twice through ten games, Portland is in desperate need of an offensive spark. While yet to be made official, in Nathan’s signing, they’re hopeful that they’ve finally found that spark.