PORTLAND, Ore. – The Portland Timbers have acquired Argentinian winger Sebastián Blanco as a Designated Player via transfer from Argentine Primera División side Club Atlético San Lorenzo de Almagro, it was announced today. He will be added to the Timbers’ roster pending receipt of his International Transfer Certificate (ITC) and P-1 visa.
Blanco, 28, joins the Timbers with over 200 matches played in the Argentine Primera División, recording 19 goals and 27 assists in 138 appearances across all competitions with Club Atlético Lanús (2006-11) and tallying 12 goals and 14 assists in 84 appearances across all competitions for San Lorenzo (2015-17).
“Sebastián Blanco is a talented player we have been aware of and tracked for quite some time,” said Gavin Wilkinson, general manager and president of soccer for the Timbers. “To say the process of acquiring him was complex is an understatement, and we are delighted to confirm the transfer and that he wanted Portland to be his new home.”
Prior to joining the Argentine Primera División, Blanco recorded 14 goals and 10 assists in 96 appearances with former Ukrainian Premier League side FC Metalist Kharkiv (2011-14), while also spending time with English Premier League side West Bromwich Albion (2014-15).
"An attacking player that will increase our production from wide positions was a top priority this offseason, and we're very pleased to sign a difference-maker like Sebastián Blanco,” said Caleb Porter, head coach of the Timbers. “He is a technical, two-footed player that will bring quality service and final passing, and he has produced goals playing either wing. His work rate on both sides of the ball was also very important. We project Blanco to play on the right side, but he is also effective on the left or at the No. 10, which gives us tactical flexibility if need be."
Coming up through the development system of Lanús, Blanco helped lead the club to its first Primera División title in 2007. Additionally, Blanco started for San Lorenzo in a 4-0 win over Boca Juniors in the 2015 Supercopa Argentina Final on Feb. 10, 2016.
Most recently, Blanco made 11 appearances (10 starts) for San Lorenzo in the 2016-17 Argentine Primera División, compiling three goals and six assists in 853 minutes played.
A native of Buenos Aires, Argentina, Blanco has two caps with the Argentina National Team, making his debut with Argentina on May 20, 2009, in a 3-1 win over Panama. Blanco scored his first goal for the national team in a 4-0 win over Haiti on May 5, 2010.
Portland acquired the Right of First Refusal to Blanco from Seattle Sounders FC in exchange for $75,000 of General Allocation Money.
Blanco will occupy an international slot on the Timbers roster.
Transaction: Portland Timbers acquire winger Sebastián Blanco as a Designated Player via transfer from Club Atlético San Lorenzo de Almagro on Feb. 2, 2017.
Born: March 15, 1988, in Buenos Aires, Argentina
Last Club: San Lorenzo
Acquired: Acquired from San Lorenzo on Feb. 2, 2017