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Bye, Bill: Tuiloma traded + Appreciation Thread

With the news of Tuiloma’s trade away from Portland official, let’s take a moment to appreciate our favorite high-jumping Kiwi.

MLS: Sporting Kansas City at Portland Timbers Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

It’s official: Bill Tuiloma no longer wears green & gold.

After first being reported by Ryan Clarke of The Oregonian/OregonLive earlier this morning, the Timbers officially confirmed that Bill Tuiloma has been traded to Charlotte FC.

As previously reported the Timbers are receiving $800,000 in total General Allocation Money (GAM) in return. New details provided in the press release of the trade confirm that the $800K is split up between the next two seasons. The Timbers will receive $500K in 2024 GAM, and $300K in 2025 GAM. Portland will receive an additional $100K in 2025 GAM if certain performance incentives are reached.

Portland will also receive 15% of any future sale should Tuiloma be transferred outside of MLS.

“It has been enjoyable to watch Bill’s development and maturation during his time with the Portland Timbers. This was not an easy decision for us as a club—Bill is a great player with tremendous character,” said Timbers general manager Ned Grabavoy of the trade.

“This move is a reflection of our challenges to keep a majority of our roster intact over the course of many seasons. We are grateful for Bill’s contributions to the club, and we are all wishing him nothing but the best with this new opportunity.”

Timbers head coach Giovanni Savarese also praised and thanked Tuiloma for his time with the Timbers in the press release. “It has been great pleasure to have had Bill with us for the past few years,” Savarese shared. “I want to thank Bill for all he has given us and always wish him the best.”

You can read Portland’s press release on Tuiloma’s trade here.

Bill, the fan-favorite

Losing Tuiloma is a tough blow for Timbers fans. We had all become accustomed to witnessing Bill’s regular “lemme see how high I can jump” performances in leaping to get his head on the end of corner kicks, or his “watch me hit the stuffing out of this ball” booming free kicks in recent years.

His performances on the field buoyed the Timbers in key moments — especially during the 2022 season. Bill scored six of his ten career Timbers goals last year, and actually finished the season as Portland’s fourth highest scorer.

Loved not only for his on-field prowess, Bill’s affable and positive energy off the field was infectious. He could always be relied upon for a moment of levity in a press conference, and his goofball personality permeated every interaction he had with his fellow Timbers players. The reactions from his now former teammates in the wake of his departure is a testament to his reputation within the Timbers locker room, and another example of how he will be missed by all.

Tuiloma leaves the Timbers after making 120 appearances across all competitions for the team across six seasons, starting back in 2017. The New Zealand international departs Portland with ten goals and six assists to his name, scoring at least one goal in five of the last six seasons.

There will be time to write about the state of the Timbers backline and offseason in the coming days, and what direction the Timbers should go now (you’re up, Zac McGraw). But let’s leave that aside for the moment.

For now, let’s take a moment to appreciate all the moments that Tuiloma gave us that made us jump, clap and sing, as we remember his time in green & gold.

Let’s get this appreciation thread going: drop your favorite Bill Tuiloma Timbers moment in the comment section below!