While we've known for weeks that Jose Valencia would not be back with the Portland Timbers in 2014, the club finally released a statement confirming the details of his loan deal to Club Olimpo. The Timbers denied all rumors regarding Valencia in December but by the end of the month, the 22-year-old striker was thanking Merritt Paulson on Twitter:
Now we know that Trencito will be away from Portland on a season-long loan, though the Timbers made no mention of the supposed option to buy that was rumored in South American reports late last year. Valencia's departure was announced an hour after the Timbers confirmed the signing of Argentine striker Gaston Fernandez. Trencito has already scored for Olimpo in a pre-season game against second division Union de Santa Fe. His status as a Timbers player will have to be revisited later this year while the club will move ahead with Fernandez and Maximiliano Urruti at forward.
Below is the aforementioned press release regarding Valencia's status:
TIMBERS LOAN FORWARD JOSE VALENCIA TO ARGENTINA’S CLUB OLIMPO
Club’s young prospect to join Argentine first-division club on season-long loan
PORTLAND, Ore. – The Portland Timbers today announced that forward Jose Valencia will join Argentina first-division side Olimpo de Bahía Blanca on a season-long loan.
"Jose is a young and talented player who needs consistent playing time in order to continue in his development," said Timbers general manager Gavin Wilkinson. "With the addition of Gastón Fernández, we felt it was best for Jose to go on loan. Olimpo is excited to have Jose on loan and the club will provide him the opportunity to gain valuable experience in a top league and will continue to push him in his development."
Valencia, 22, made 21 regular-season appearances (5 starts) in his first full MLS season in 2013, scoring one goal and recording three assists. He also played in three matches during Portland’s run to the 2013 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup semifinals and made a pair of appearances in the MLS Cup Playoffs. Valencia was the leading scorer for the Timbers Reserves in the MLS Reserve League with five goals.
From Bogotá, Colombia, Valencia joined the Timbers on Dec. 15, 2011, from Colombian side Independiente Santa Fe, where he started his professional career in 2008. He missed the 2012 campaign with Portland due to preseason knee surgery.
Valencia is a former Colombia youth international and was a standout for the Colombia U-20 National Team during the 2011 FIFA U-20 World Cup.
Olimpo is located in the city of Bahía Blanca in Argentina’s Buenos Aires Province. The club finished the Primera División’s Torneo Inicial with a record of 6-8-5 (23pts). The league’s Torneo Final runs February to May.
- Portland Timbers Finally Get Their Men: Gaston Fernandez and Norberto Paparatto Sign
- Ron Lee and the 1976 Portland Timbers Draft
- Newly Acquired Portland Thorns Keeper Nadine Angerer Wins FIFA Ballon d'Or
- Portland Thorns Bring in Sinead Farrelly to Bolster the Midfield
- Portland Thorns Trade Karina LeBlanc to Chicago for 2015 Draft Pick