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Jazzy Encore: Aljaz Ivacic signs contract extension with Timbers

Portland inks their top goalkeeper through the 2025 season.

MLS: San Jose Earthquakes at Portland Timbers Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

The man they call Jazzy will be playing on in the Rose City for a few more years.

The Portland Timbers announced today that they have signed goalkeeper Aljaz Ivacic to a contract extension. The new deal keeper Ivacic, or “Jazzy” as he’s known amongst his teammates, under contract through the 2025 season, with a club option for 2026.

Ivacic came to the Timbers in 2019, and after sitting behind Jeff Attinella and then Steve Clark on the depth chart he won the starting job outright in 2022. He started 32 games for the Timbers last year, earning several MLS Team of the Week honors along the way,

“Aljaz has shown his level of commitment and dedication since joining the club in 2019,” Timbers general manager Ned Grabavoy said of the extension. “He characterizes the type of person and professional that are important within the Portland Timbers organization. Aljaz has continued to work tirelessly, and is fully deserving of this moment. We look forward to him being a part of the club for years to come.”

Timbers head coach Giovanni Savarese added on his praise of the Slovenian ‘keeper. “I’m extremely excited that Aljaz has signed a contract extension with the club. He has worked hard to earn his position within the team,” Savarese shared. “We expect him to continue to showcase his great abilities this season and are excited to continue to see him grow with us.”

The great abilities Savarese referenced were on full display last season when Ivacic’s stellar shot-stopping kept the Timbers afloat in numerous games, and also cemented him as one of the best goalkeepers in MLS last year.

Jazzy recorded 112 saves last season — the most out of any ‘keeper in MLS — and based on advanced analytics from FBref was also one of the best in the entire league at stopping shots that had high percentages to become goals.

In short, Ivacic was a very good goalkeeper last year. And now the Timbers have recognized that with awarding him a new deal.

Ivacic was hampered through the 2023 preseason with an injury and has yet to appear in Portland’s 2023 season. He is currently in full training, and has been available off the bench in both of Portland’s games so far. But with a new deal in hand and a healed body to rely on, you can be sure that Portland’s goalkeeper will be back to showcasing his skills sometime very soon.

You can read Portland’s press release on Ivacic’s extension here.