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Official: Portland Timbers sign Colombian right back Juan David Mosquera

The 19-year-old defender will occupy Portland’s final U-22 Initiative Slot.

Portland finally has their man. The Portland Timbers announced today the signing of Colombian right back Juan David Mosquera, who will be added to the team’s roster pending a physical and the receipt of his International Transfer Certificate and P-1 visa. Mosquera, 19, will occupy an international slot and Portland’s final U-22 initiative slot. His deal will run through 2026, with a club option for 2027.

Mosquera was most recently of Independiente Medellín in the Colombian first division, where he made 59 appearances across all competitions, tallying three goals and three assists across that span. He’s also appeared for Independiente Medellín in the Copa Sudamericana, and has spent time with Colombia’s U-17 and U-20 men’s national teams.

An aggressive attacking fullback, Mosquera projects as the type of player that should Giovanni Savarese’s tactical scheme like a glove. He will step in as an understudy to current starting right back Josecarlos Van Rankin, and will be looked to as an eventual successor in the coming years.

Reports started bubbling up earlier this month about Mosquera’s potential transfer, and after a few weeks of waiting the Timbers finally got the signing over the line. It appears that there may have been a late push from La Liga side Villareal to pip Portland for Mosquera’s signature, as according to MLS Soccer insider Tom Bogert the Spanish team tried to swoop in at the 11th hour.

But despite their efforts Mosquera will indeed be coming to Portland— where he will have quite the contingent of his countrymen waiting for him. Santiago Moreno, Dairon Asprilla, Yimmi Chara, and Diego Chara all hail from Colombia, and will serve as a very warm welcoming committee that is sure to help ease Mosquera’s transition into the US and MLS. Diego Chara and Moreno especially, as team captain and a fellow young developing player respectively, can serve as strong mentor figures for the young Colombian as he integrates into the roster.

As for what Mosquera will bring to the roster, at this point a great deal is still to be determined. He made his professional debut in 2020, so while he has a decent amount of professional experience under his belt he is decidedly still quite raw. With Mosquera, as it is with any U-22 Initiative signing, the main goal will be to develop him to become a key player for the Timbers down the road.

Head coach Giovanni Savarese understands that that is Mosquera’s trajectory, as reflected by his comments on the signing. “We’re excited to welcome Juan David to Portland. We believe he will give us depth and strength, while we also will provide him with the right environment to develop as a player and as a person,” Savarese shared.

Savarese went on to identify that, “His talent and skillset will make us a more competitive team. We’ve incorporated and trusted young, talented players into our team and we have seen their growth. These young players have adapted themselves in a very positive way, so I’m looking forward to work with Juan David as he develops with us at the Timbers.”

As Gio pointed out, Portland has done a commendable job so far of gradually integrating their U-22 Initiative players into the fold. Moreno is essentially a starter, and David Ayala is getting significant minutes with both the Timbers and Timbers 2 this season. As Mosquera is still just 19, expectations should be set accordingly— he’s not coming into this team to be starter right away, and will be more of a years-long development project.

But with a coach that has a track record of connecting with and developing his players, and with a strong locker room to welcome him, the Timbers are hoping that Mosquera can one day blossom into a key piece for years to come.

You can read the full news on Mosquera’s signing here.