PORTLAND, Ore. – The Portland Timbers have acquired forward Danny Mwanga from the Philadelphia Union in exchange for forward Jorge Perlaza, it was announced today. Timbers general manager Gavin Wilkinson made the announcement.
Mwanga, 20, made 63 appearances (37 starts) over his first three MLS seasons with Philadelphia, recording 12 goals and nine assists. The No. 1 overall pick in the 2010 MLS SuperDraft, Mwanga, who will wear No. 10 for the Timbers, was a collegiate standout at Oregon State University and played prep soccer at Portland’s Jefferson High School.
“Danny is an experienced, young player who has shown that he can be productive in this league during his time with Philadelphia,” said John Spencer, Timbers head coach. “He has roots in Portland, his family still lives here, and we look forward to getting him integrated into the team quickly.”
Mwanga, born in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo, ranked among Philadelphia’s scoring leaders following his first two seasons with the club in 2010 and 2011. Last season, he scored five goals and finished second on the team with four assists, helping the Union make their first MLS playoff appearance. As a member of Generation adidas, Mwanga tallied seven goals and was one of three finalists for MLS Rookie of the Year in 2010.
“It is a wonderful opportunity for me to come back to my hometown and play in front of family and friends,” said Mwanga. “I’m excited, and I can’t wait to get out to Portland and get to work. I’m proud to be a member of the Portland Timbers.”
Following the 2011 campaign, Mwanga headlined an 18-player roster participating in a Generation adidas tour of the Netherlands. He was also named No. 9 on MLSsoccer.com’s 24-Under-24 list in 2011.
Mwanga had a productive collegiate career at Oregon State University, where he was awarded the Pac-10 Freshman of the Year in 2008 and the Pac-10 Player of the Year in 2009. As a sophomore, he scored a conference-best 14 goals, including five game-winners, becoming the first OSU player to earn conference player of the year honors. Mwanga was a NSCAA second team All-American and a finalist for the prestigious MAC Hermann Trophy in 2009. In total, Mwanga recorded 18 goals in 29 collegiate games.
He starred at Jefferson High School in North Portland and played club soccer at adidas Timbers Alliance club Westside Timbers as a youth.
Perlaza, 27, made 41 appearances (32 starts) over two seasons with the Timbers, scoring six goals and adding two assists. He was signed by the Timbers on March 7, 2011, after playing the first nine seasons of his career in Colombia.
“Jorge has been nothing but first class for this organization, a quality person both on and off the field. We wish him all the best,” said Spencer.
Born: July 17, 1991, in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo
Hometown: Portland, Ore.
Last Club: Philadelphia Union
College: Oregon State University
Citizenship: D.R. Congo