Jorge Villafana, Timbers @ FCD, 11.29.15
(USA Today Sports Images)

Portland Timbers transfer Jorge Villafaña to Liga MX club Santos Laguna

PORTLAND, Ore. – The Portland Timbers today announced the transfer of defender Jorge Villafaña to five-time Liga MX champions Santos Laguna of Mexico. Per league and club policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“With the current structure in MLS, this transfer is necessary in order for the club to acquire allocation dollars to keep the core group of players together as much as possible,” said Gavin Wilkinson, general manager of the Timbers. “Jorge has been a tremendous player for us, and we wish him great success in this mutually beneficial move.”

Villafaña, 26, made 52 regular-season appearances for the Timbers over two seasons from 2014-2015. Originally joining the club in a trade with Chivas USA on Dec. 12, 2013, Villafaña logged two goals and seven assists for the Timbers, making an MLS-career high 33 appearances (all starts) during the 2015 season. 

“This was a win-win for Jorge and for our club; it was an opportunity that neither one of us could pass up,” said Caleb Porter, head coach of the Timbers. “We wish Jorge all the best and thank him for his contributions to our championship.”

An MLS veteran who joined Chivas USA in 2007 as a 17-year-old, Villafaña has made 138 career MLS appearances (113 starts), logging nine goals and 13 assists in his career. Helping Chivas USA to postseason appearances in 2008 and 2009, he helped guide the Timbers to their first MLS Cup title in 2015, starting all but one match at left back for the club.

Based in Torreón, Mexico, Santos Laguna has won five Liga MX titles, most recently winning the 2015 Liga MX Torneo Clausura championship, as well as the 2014 Copa MX tournament – Mexico’s domestic league cup. The club finished the 2015 Torneo Apertura season in 15th place, but did reach the knockout stage of the 2015-16 CONCACAF Champions League tournament, where they will face the LA Galaxy in the two-leg, quarterfinal round.