Perlaza vs. Sounders Cascadia Summit
Photo by Craig Mitchelldyer

Timbers Sign Colombian Forward Jorge Perlaza

PORTLAND, Ore.— The Portland Timbers today announced the signing of Colombian forward Jorge Perlaza. He signs with the club after four seasons with Colombian first-division side Deportes Tolima. Timbers general manager/technical director Gavin Wilkinson made the announcement.

Perlaza, 26, compiled 15 goals in 31 matches with Tolima in 2010. As one of the club’s top scorers, Perlaza led Tolima to the overall first-place position in the Liga Postobón standings last season, which qualified the club for the 2011 Copa Libertadores tournament. He also scored a goal in five starts during the 2010 Copa Sudamericana, guiding Tolima to the quarterfinal of one of South America’s top tournaments.

Perlaza has been in camp with the Timbers as a non-roster player and scored his first goal in Friday’s 2-0 win over Seattle Sounders FC in the Cascadia Summit.

“With his athleticism and how tough he plays, we think he is a great fit for the Timbers,” said Wilkinson. “He was a tremendous goal scorer last year for Tolima, and he already has shown he has the ability to be the same with Portland this season.”

A native of Guapi, Colombia, Perlaza was a dependable scorer for Tolima over the past two seasons, netting a combined 23 goals in 78 games. His 10 goals during the Finalización tournament of the 2010 season placed him among the league’s top scorers over the second part of the campaign.

“Jorge definitely has the potential to score a lot of goals in this league and could be a very exciting player for this organization for many years to come,” said Timbers head coach John Spencer.

Perlaza, a veteran of 10 professional seasons, began his career in his native Colombia at the age of 16 with Atlético Huila in 2001 and has played for Deportes Quindío (2002, 2004-06), Deportivo Pasto (2002-03) and Tolima (2007-10). In total, he has played in 212 games during his career, scoring 39 goals. Over the last four seasons with Tolima, Perlaza logged 28 goals in 135 appearances.

During his career, Perlaza has competed in two of South America’s more prestigious tournaments – the Copa Libertadores and Copa Sudamericana. He first played in the Copa Sudamericana in 2003 with Deportivo Pasto and then guided Tolima to the same tournament in 2010. Perlaza played in the 2007 Copa Libertadores with Tolima, playing against the best clubs in South America.

Perlaza had a breakout season in 2006, scoring eight goals in 26 matches for Quindio, and following the season was signed by Tolima. He scored eight goals for Tolima in 2009, contributing to the club’s first-place finish in the Apertura tournament and its second-place overall finish in the season standings.

Jorge Perlaza
Pronunciation: per-LA-za
Position: Forward
Height: 5-10
Weight: 155
Born: Oct. 11, 1984
Hometown: Guapi, Colombia
Last Club: Deportes Tolima (Colombia)
College: n/a
Citizenship: Colombia