PORTLAND, Ore. – The Portland Timbers today announced that the club has acquired U.S. international defender Jorge Villafaña using Targeted Allocation Money (TAM) via transfer from Liga MX side Santos Laguna. To move up in the MLS Allocation Ranking Order to acquire Villafaña, the Timbers acquired the No. 1 allocation spot from the LA Galaxy in exchange for the No. 16 position in the Allocation Ranking Order, $75,000 in General Allocation Money (GAM) and $100,000 in 2019 TAM. Villafaña will be added to the Timbers’ roster pending receipt of his International Transfer Certificate (ITC).
“It’s with great pleasure that we welcome back Jorge Villafaña to the Timbers,” said Gavin Wilkinson, general manager and president of soccer for the Timbers. “Jorge played a critical role in helping our club win its first MLS Cup in 2015, and we are thrilled to welcome him back to Portland. He returns to the club as an even more experienced and seasoned professional, with his accomplishments with the U.S. National Team and his championship-winning success in Liga MX, and we look forward to his further contributions in his return to Portland.”
Villafaña, who previously spent two seasons with the Timbers (2014-15), rejoins the club after spending three Liga MX campaigns (2015-18) with Santos Laguna. During that stretch, Villafaña posted 60 league appearances (57 starts), while helping the club win its sixth Liga MX title this past season.
“I have seen from afar the professional growth of Jorge Villafaña and how his progress has led to success, and we are very pleased to add him to our group,” said Giovanni Savarese, head coach of the Timbers. “He is a proven winner, contributing to multiple championships over his career, and we believe he will be an impactful and important addition to our team.”
Prior to joining Santos Laguna, Villafaña, 28, was originally acquired by the Timbers in a trade with Chivas USA on Dec. 12, 2013, with the defender making 52 regular-season appearances for Portland over two seasons from 2014-2015, including a career-high 33 regular-season games played (33 starts) and six postseason appearances (all starts) as a key component in Portland’s 2015 championship-winning campaign.
At the international level, Villafaña has earned 19 caps (15 starts) for the U.S. Men’s National Team, including six appearances (6 starts) during qualifiers for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. Additionally, since making his senior team debut for the United States on July 26, 2017, Villafaña helped the team win the Concacaf Gold Cup trophy in 2017, making four appearances (4 starts) in the tournament.
Originally beginning his professional career as a 17-year-old with Chivas USA in 2007, Villafaña has made 211 league appearances (180 starts), including 138 career MLS appearances (113 starts), logging nine goals and 13 assists in MLS play.
Transaction: The Portland Timbers acquire defender Jorge Villafaña using Targeted Allocation Money (TAM) via transfer from Santos Laguna. The Timbers acquired the No. 1 position in the Allocation Ranking from the LA Galaxy in exchange for the No. 16 position in the Allocation Ranking, $75,000 in General Allocation Money (GAM) and $100,000 in 2019 TAM.
Pronunciation: HOR-hay vee-ya-FAH-nyah
Born: Sept. 16, 1989, in Anaheim, Calif.
Hometown: Anaheim, Calif.
Last Club: Santos Laguna
Citizenship: United States
Acquired: Via transfer from Santos Laguna