PORTLAND, Ore. – The Portland Timbers have acquired midfielder David Ayala, the club announced today. The Argentine joins Portland from Club Estudiantes de la Plata of Primera División, the top flight in Argentina. Under contract through 2025 with a club option year, Ayala will occupy an international and a U22 Initiative Slot. Ayala will be added to the Timbers’ roster, pending a physical and receipt of his International Transfer Certificate (ITC) and P-1 visa.
“David has been a target of ours for close to a year now. We have been in lengthy negotiations with Estudiantes to find an amicable transfer agreement for both sides and we are delighted to finalize this transfer. He is a quality player that we believe will be a great player and investment for the Club,” said Gavin Wilkinson, Timbers general manager and president of soccer. “David has a unique skill set that brings different qualities to our midfield. He has good experience at a high level for his age and will immediately make an impact on the team."
Ayala, 19, has played three seasons for Estudiantes. The Berazategui, Argentina native made his professional debut in Primera División on December 10, 2019, at the age of 17, the second youngest player to achieve a senior debut at Estudiantes and has made 32 appearances across all competitions with the club.
“We’re incredibly excited to bring David to the Timbers. He’s a player we’ve had our eyes on, and from constant communication with the people that have helped in his development, there has been great, positive feedback about him,” said Timbers head coach Giovanni Savarese. “His talent will strengthen us and make us more competitive. He shows great potential to grow as a player, and we feel Portland will be a great environment for him.”
Ayala has been capped 13 times for Argentina’s U-17 national team. The defensive midfielder was part of Argentina’s U-17 squad that won the Tournament Valentin Granatkin Memorial in Russia, defeating the host 1-0 in the final on June 14 prior to being named to the 2019 U-17 FIFA World Cup team that played through the Round of 16 in Brazil. In the World Cup, Ayala started in two of Argentina’s four games. Most recently, the midfielder was part of the U-20 National Team in December of 2020.
Transaction: Portland Timbers sign midfielder David Ayala through the 2025 season with a club option year. Ayala will occupy an international and a U22 Initiative Slot, pending a physical and receipt of his International Transfer Certificate (ITC) and P-1 visa.
Date of Birth: July 26, 2002
Birthplace: Berazategui, Argentina
Last Club: Club Estudiantes de La Plata
Acquired: Signed Feb. 1, 2022
Roster Designation: International and U22 Initiative Slot
Portland Timbers 2022 Roster
as of Feb. 1
Goalkeepers: David Bingham, Aljaz Ivacic, Hunter Sulte, Justin Vom Steeg
Defenders: Pablo Bonilla, Claudio Bravo, Larrys Mabiala, Zac McGraw, Bill Tuiloma, Dario Zuparic
Midfielders: David Ayala, Blake Bodily, Diego Chara, Yimmi Chara, George Fochive, Marvin Loría, Santiago Moreno, Cristhian Paredes, Andy Polo, Eryk Williamson
Forwards: Dairon Asprilla, Tega Ikoba, Felipe Mora, Jaroslaw Niezgoda