The Portland Timbers added a trio of players with Major League Soccer experience for the 2017 this morning, announcing the return of winger Dairon Asprilla, the re-signing of defender/midfielder Amobi Okugo, and the signing of free agent full back Chance Myers.
All three moves came to light over the weekend before this morning’s announcement and now that they have been made official the Timbers have added significant depth to their lineup for 2017.
Asprilla returns to the Timbers after spending half a season on loan with Millonarios F.C. in Colombia where he made sixteen appearances, starting nine games and tallying two goals for El Azul. Asprilla was a part of the Timbers’ 2015 MLS Cup winning side and has made 35 regular season and six playoff appearances in his season and a half with the Timbers. With his return, Asprilla should expect to compete with recently signed youngster — and fellow Colombian — Victor Arboleda for the number two slot on the right wing, backing up the Timbers’ still-rumored designated player signing.
Okugo joined the Timbers midway through the 2016 season and only made six appearances in total for the Timbers, but provided valuable depth both at center back and as a defensive midfielder. Although there were rumored to be some hiccups with his return to the Timbers due to the vagaries of MLS, now that Okugo has been confirmed for 2017 the Timbers have a player who has the experience in the league, having made 139 appearances at only 25 years old, to step in and compete for regular playing time.
Finally, in Myers the Timbers they Timbers have a full back who is only three years and an Achilles injury removed from being one of the most consistent defensive full backs in the league. Myers missed most of the 2014 season due to injury then found himself behind new Sporting Kansas City phenom Saad Abdul-Salaam on the depth chart, so it is difficult to tell how he has bounced back, but if the Timbers have Myers at anything close to his previous level of ability then they have a player who can challenge Alvas Powell for the starting spot at right back.