Tuesday, June 25, 2024
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Portland Timbers nearing a deal for Club America’s Jonathan ‘Cabecita’ Rodriguez: Sources

The Portland Timbers are nearing a deal to sign Uruguayan forward Jonathan “Cabecita” Rodriguez from Liga MX power Club América, sources briefed on the deal confirmed to The Athletic on Saturday.

Rodriguez would occupy a designated player slot for the Timbers. Rodriguez isn’t expected to be in Club América’s squad in their Saturday night league game as the transfer nears. Agreements have been reached on major negotiating points, with all sides just ironing out final details at the moment.

Portland was negotiating simultaneously on a potential deal for CF Monterrey forward Germán Berterame that included submitting a $15 million bid, sources said. Monterrey’s president Tato Noriega told media ahead of the weekend that Berterame “told us that he does not want to take Portland’s offer and wants to stay with us.”

Rodriguez, 30, has nine goals and three assists in 1,088 minutes in all competitions for América this season. He has excelled in Liga MX for the better part of a decade between stints with Santos Laguna, Cruz Azul and América. He had a six-month sojourn at Al-Nassr in Saudi Arabia in 2022 as well.

All in all, Rodriguez scored 108 goals and 27 assists for the three Liga MX clubs he played for. 

The center forward has 31 caps with Uruguay. He broke through with Peñarol in Uruguay and was signed by Portuguese giants Benfica before heading to Mexico.

The potential deal would cap a transformative offseason for Portland, which started by naming Phil Neville head coach, moving on from club legend Sebastian Blanco and re-fortifying the defense with additions of Canadian internationals Kamal Miller and Maxime Crepeau.

Rodriguez is likely to primarily play down the center but also has gotten plenty of minutes on the wing, an attractive quality to give Neville plenty of flexibility in picking an attack that includes the likes of Evander, Santi Moreno, Antony, Dairon Asprilla and more.

Portland still could add a young DP to their roster, but if they go that route, it’s much more likely to happen in the summer than in the next five weeks before the primary transfer window closes.

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(Photo: Manuel Velasquez/Getty Images)

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