Bravo: Timbers sign left back
The Portland Timbers have acquired Argentine youth international defender Claudio Bravo from Argentina's Club Atletico Banfield, making official an expected offseason move for the MLS club.
Portland has signed the 23-year-old left back to a multiyear contract. Terms of the contract were not released.
Portland used targeted allocation money to complete the transaction.
Outside back was a position the Timbers wanted to upgrade in the offseason. After Marco Farfan requested a trade and was sent to Los Angeles FC, Portland was in need of another left back.
The left-footed Bravo is expected to give the Timbers a left back who can join the attack and deliver on-target passes for Portland's attackers. Portland also believes Bravo can be a strong ball-winner and one-on-one defender, two skills that will help the team play more assertively in the attacking half.
Gavin Wilkinson, general manager and president of soccer for the Timbers, expressed high expectations for Bravo.
"Signing a player with Claudio Bravo's skillset and ability is a tremendous positive for the club and our expectations for him as a Timbers player are extremely high," Wilkinson said in the team's news release. "We look forward to integrating him into the group and once he is acclimated we are confident he will be a very effective and dominant left back in our league."
Bravo has represented Argentina's under-23 men's national team eight times and helped Argentina win the 2020 CONMEBOL Pre-Olympic Tournament. In 54 appearances (52 starts) for Banfield from 2017-20, Bravo had four assists.
"Claudio is a young talent who has all the attributes for a great future," Timbers coach Giovanni Savarese said in the club's announcement. "We are very excited to have him, and his skillset is a very good balance of offense and defense at his position."
In his end-of-season media availability, Wilkinson listed wide defenders and central defender as areas of emphasis this offseason.
Timbers owner Merritt Paulson on Dec. 17 tweeted that Portland's next notable acquisition, which he hopes gets done by January, is not from a country the club has acquired a major player from previously.
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