The Portland Timbers announced today the signing of Ivorian forward Franck Boli on a TAM deal from Hungarian club Ferencváros, finally putting to bed their search for much-needed depth at striker. Boli is signed on a one year deal for 2023, with the club holding an option for the 2024 season.
The Timbers’ interest in Boli was first reported by MLS’ Tom Bogert on Feb. 28:
Sources: Portland Timbers are signing forward Franck Boli from Ferencváros. Boli will hit the cap as a TAM signing. Not a long-term guaranteed deal, giving POR flexibility.— Tom Bogert (@tombogert) February 28, 2023
Boli, 29, had 42g/11a in 126 apps in Hungary. 2 goals in 77 mins in 2020-21 Champions League group stage. pic.twitter.com/CIA4CqlcBU
“This acquisition provides the group another experienced attacking option, while still allowing flexibility within the roster as we move ahead,” said Timbers general manager Ned Grabavoy on the signing. “We look forward to welcoming Franck to Portland, and hope that he can be a positive addition to the team.”
Timbers head coach Giovanni Savarese echoed that enthusiasm. “We’re excited to welcome Franck to Portland,” Gio said. “I feel confident that adding another attacking piece like Boli into our team will give us the possibility to be more competitive.”
Boli spent the majority of his career in Norway with stints at Stabæk and Aalesund, scoring 61 goals in 157 Tippeligaen appearances, and made a brief stop in China with Liaoning Whowin before settling in the Hungarian top-flight. This year, Boli has tallied three goals on nine appearances in Hungary.
Boli profiles as a pacey, right-footed poacher who plays off the shoulder and wants to finish off chances as close to the goal as possible. Sounds like the perfect player for guys like Evander, Santiago Moreno, and Yimmi Chara to create chances for.
With Jaroslaw Niezgoda struggling for form and Nathan not quite ready to be a consistent starter, Boli figures to be a major contributor for the Timbers while Felipe Mora continues to recovery from his knee injury.
Gio Savarese, without using his name for obvious reasons, said the Timbers are hoping the signing of Franck Boli is finalized soon so he can join the club.— Ryan Clarke (@RyanTClarke) March 7, 2023
Said the Timbers also aim to sign another center back and, notably, a potential addition in the midfield as well. #RCTID
The Timbers are back in action on Saturday March 18, when they travel to Georgia to face Atlanta United at 4:30 pm PT.
You can read the team’s full press release on Boli’s signing here.