Timbers add defender from Mexico
The Portland Timbers have acquired outside back Josecarlos Van Rankin. The Mexico City native comes to Portland on a one-year loan from Liga MX club C.D. Guadalajara. The Timbers have an option of making the transfer permanent.
Van Rankin, 27, has played in 260 professional games in his native Mexico. He adds much-needed depth to the outside back. Pablo Bonilla (right) and Claudio Bravo (left) are the only other natural wide defenders on the roster.
Gavin Wilkinson, Timbers GM and president of soccer, heralded Van Rankin as a player whose ability to play multiple positions will be valuable as the Timbers navigate MLS and what they hope will be a long run in the CONCACAF Champions League.
"Getting a proven player with his qualities on loan is a great acquisition at a beneficial cap number and provides an extended scouting opportunity with the ability to permanently transfer him in the future," Wilkinson said in announcing the deal.
Coach Giovanni Savarese said Van Rankin brings "great attacking and defending balance" to the Timbers.
Van Rankin has made one appearance with Mexico's senior national team, registering an assist in a 2018 win over Costa Rica.
• Timbers Army statement — The Timbers Army joined other MLS supporters groups this week by announcing support for the MLS players in ongoing negotiations with the league over the collective bargaining agreement.
MLS has set a Thursday deadline to reach an agreement to modify the CBA. League owners have threatened to lockout players if no agreement is reached this week.
The CBA agreed to in January of 2020 was not ratified prior to the pandemic. The league CBA was modified last June, allowing MLS to employ a force majeure because of pandemic-related losses. The league invoked that force majeure and reopened CBA negotiations on Dec. 30. Initially the window to negotiate was one month. MLS extended that window one week.
Among MLS' proposals is freezing the amount of money teams can spend on salaries through the 2022 season and extending the CBA through 2027 to allow time to recoup pandemic-related loses.
The MLSPA's counter reportedly is to extend the CBA through 2026 instead of 2027. That appears to be a major sticking point because a significant increase in media-rights money is anticipated in conjunction with the 2026 World Cup in the United States and Canada.
The Timbers Army statement reads:
"The Timbers Army emphatically supports MLS players in their negotiations with the league.
This past year has been one of incredible hardship and sacrifice for all of us. Players have put
themselves at risk — giving up time at home with loved ones, enduring extremely challenging travel and
working conditions, and making significant monetary concessions — all in service of the game we all
love. Supporters recognize the sacrifices that players have already made on behalf of supporters and
the league in order to allow the highest levels of professional soccer in the United States and Canada to
continue in the midst of a pandemic.
While league owners also made sacrifices and endured losses in 2020, MLS team owners are far better
positioned to absorb such losses in the short term. The MLS Players Association (MLSPA) proposal to
extend the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) into the 2026 season, along with other non-economic
changes, is a reasonable offer, and it demonstrates the players' good faith and willingness to find
working solutions that contribute to the league's long-term stability. The league's attempt to extend the
current contract through 2027 smacks of a cynical attempt to take advantage of a short-term emergency
and a setback from what had been great momentum and progress between MLS and the MLSPA.
In 2019, the players stood in solidarity with the supporters. Now it is our time to stand with them. We stand with MLSPA."
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