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Darlington Nagbe and Diego Chara Sign New Contracts with the Portland Timbers

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Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports

UPDATE: The Timbers just made the news official. Look for the full press release at the bottom of the page.

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News broke earlier today on Goal.com that newly anointed USMNT player Darlington Nagbe signed a new contract with the Portland Timbers, but he is not the only Timbers star to get a new deal today: Stumptown Footy's Chris Rifer was also able to confirm that Diego Chara received a new deal from the team as well.

By locking up Nagbe, 25, and Chara, 29, to new multi-year deals, the Timbers have cemented the center of their midfield for the immediate future.

According to the Goal.com piece, Nagbe's new deal is for four years, potentially keeping him with the Timbers through the end of the 2019 season. There has not yet been any word on the length of Chara's new deal other than that it is for multiple years.

That the Timbers used targeted allocation money on the pair, per Rifer's tweet, is telling. Only players making above the annual designated player threshold of $475,000 can have targeted allocation money applied to their contracts. This set of moves, along with the necessity of buying down the contract of Fanendo Adi to make space for Lucas Melano as a designated player, will certainly be a significant drain on the Timbers' reserves of TAM.

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The Timbers' press release:

TIMBERS SIGN MIDFIELDERS DIEGO CHARA, DARLINGTON NAGBE TO CONTRACT EXTENSIONS

PORTLAND, Ore. The Portland Timbers today announced that the club has signed midfielders Diego Chara and Darlington Nagbe to contract extensions – both using Targeted Allocation Money – ahead of the 2016 MLS season.

Both midfielders joined the Timbers for their inaugural 2011 MLS season, with Chara ranking as the club’s all-time leader in MLS minutes played and Nagbe leading the way as the club’s all-time MLS leader in appearances and starts over its first five seasons. 

Chara, 29, has logged 12,835 minutes played since joining the Timbers early in their first MLS season in 2011. The midfielder, who originally signed with the club on April 13, 2011, is a two-time Players’ Player of the Year and Supporters’ Player of the Year recipient over his five seasons with Portland. In 146 games played (145 starts) with the Timbers, Chara has contributed six goals and 13 assists.

Voted as both the Players’ Player of the Year and Supporters’ Player of the Year following the 2015 season, Chara started in 28 games this past season, recording two goals and one assist while logging 2,479 minutes played. Chara started four matches during the 2015 MLS Cup Playoffs, including 90 minutes in Portland’s 2-1 victory over Columbus Crew SC in MLS Cup and netting his first career postseason goal in the Timbers’ 2-0 win at Vancouver in the second leg of the Western Conference Semifinals on Nov. 8.

Over his first five seasons with the Timbers, Nagbe, 25, has appeared in a team-leading 160 games (149 starts), tallying 23 goals and 20 assists. The Timbers Players’ Player of the Year in 2013 after scoring a career-high nine goals, Nagbe played a key role in the team’s 2015 championship season, recording five goals and five assists in 33 games played (33 starts). In addition, Nagbe played every minute during Portland’s 2015 MLS Cup playoff run, tallying two assists over 570 minutes played, including the game-winning assist in the team’s victory over Columbus in MLS Cup. 

Entering the 2016 season, Nagbe, who has earned four caps with the U.S. Men’s National Team since his debut on Nov. 13, 2015, will become the Timbers all-time leader in games played across all eras (since 1975) with his next regular-season appearance. The Timbers’ first-ever SuperDraft pick as the No. 2-overall selection of the club in 2011, Nagbe’s first career goal in the league was voted as the 2011 MLS Goal of the Year. For his career with the club, Nagbe ranks second in assists and tied for second in goals.

The Timbers will open the 2016 MLS season at home against Columbus on Sunday, March 6, at 1:30 p.m. (Pacific). The match will be broadcast live on ESPN with a local radio broadcast on 750 AM/102.9 FM The Game (KXTG) and in Spanish on La GranD 93.5 FM (KGDD). 

Transaction: Portland Timbers sign midfielders Diego Chara and Darlington Nagbe to contract extensions, both using Targeted Allocation Money.