Update: There are now multiple reports that the Timbers have completed a trade with the LA Galaxy to move up to first in the Allocation Order to be able to bring Villafana back. No word yet on what the Galaxy have received in return.
The Portland Timbers today teased the return of American left back Jorge Villafana in a tweet showing both his (#19) and Lucas Melano’s (#26) jerseys.
Furthermore, national writer Sam Stejskal has today reported that VIllafana has agreed to return to MLS. Combining this with the Timbers’ teaser, and it’s hard to imagine him going elsewhere in the league.
Told that Jorge Villafaña has agreed to a 3.5 year deal to move back to MLS. Told he'll be a TAM player in '18. Haven't confirmed where he'll end up, but @TimbersFC seem to be teasing the move. He'll go through allocation, meaning Portland will likely have to trade up to get him.— Sam Stejskal (@samstejskal) August 8, 2018
The Timbers are currently 16th in the MLS Allocation Order, which is a process Villafana will definitely go through. One way in which the Timbers could wrangle themselves a higher spot would be a trade with Minnesota United, who are currently fourth in the order. As mentioned by Chris Rifer, Minnesota are currently in need of a defensive midfielder, which makes a trade involving, say, David Guzman a real possibility.
The return of Villafana would also put Vytas leaving the club into a greater context. Both because the club is bringing back an excellent player at his position, but also because DC United is currently 2nd in the allocation order, and it now seems likely that deal included an agreement for DC to not take Villafana in allocation.
Villafana was a Timber during the 2014 and 2015 season and made 63 appearances across all competitions during that time, including 39 in the 2015 MLS Regular Season and Playoffs.