Timbers defender Josecarlos Van Rankin came to Portland in the offseason having played the previous two Liga MX campaigns with Santos Laguna (2019-2021), on loan from Chivas. With Santos Laguna, Van Rankin tallied two goals in 25 appearances (23 starts) across all competitions. Now a starter in the Rose City, Van Rankin has appeared in all 17 games for Portland in 2021 and is tied for second on the team in assists (3).
He recently spoke ahead of Sunday's Timbers match with Seattle (7pm PT, TICKETS, FS1) for the matchday program about the start of his career in Mexico and more.
You started playing professionally so young, has there been a moment in your career where it really sunk in that you are a professional?
Yes, my first game against Club América, I was 18 years old playing for Pumas. Estadio Azteca was full, it had 100,000 fans and was so impressive.
How would you describe the soccer culture in Mexico?
It means a lot to everyone there. It is the most viewed sport, and everyone enjoys it. Every child wants to be a professional soccer player in Mexico.
Portland is the only place you’ve played professionally outside of Mexico. What was it like adjusting to a new league and team?
Portland made things easy for me. My teammates and all the staff here are very good, and that made the move easy.
What’s your favorite t.v. show to binge watch?
What has surprised you most about living in the U.S.?
The views here, I think it is the most impressive thing. It is so different, because when I was living in Mexico it is a city that just has a lot of buildings.