PORTLAND, Ore. – The Portland Timbers today announced that the club has acquired Argentine forward Brian Fernandez via transfer from Liga MX side Club Necaxa, paying a transfer fee that triggered the player's release clause. Fernandez will be added to the Timbers’ roster as a Designated Player pending the receipt of his International Transfer Certificate (ITC).
Fernandez, 24, joins Portland with over 130 professional appearances in the top leagues of Argentina, Chile, France and Mexico since making his professional debut in 2012 for Argentine side Defensa y Justicia. Since the beginning of 2018, Fernandez has tallied 29 goals in 44 appearances between Chilean side Unión La Calera and Necaxa.
In order to accommodate Fernandez as a Designated Player on the Timbers’ roster, Targeted Allocation Money (TAM) was used to lower the budget charge of Lucas Melano, freeing a Designated Player slot.
“We are delighted to sign a player of Brian Fernandez’ caliber, at a stage in his career where we feel he is already a proven player yet still has his best years in front of him and room to grow as a player,” said Gavin Wilkinson, general manager and president of soccer for the Timbers. “Brian has demonstrated the ability to overcome adversity during his career and his commitment to the game, his family and his belief in his ability has helped him develop into an exciting, highly skilled attacking threat with very good clubs in multiple leagues. He is a quality player and will add a different look to our team, and we are thrilled to welcome him to Portland.”
The Santa Fe, Argentina, native joined Necaxa in July 2018 and tallied a team-leading 18 goals and five assists in 32 appearances (25 starts) across all competitions. Fernandez finished second in the 2019 Liga MX Clausura regular-season campaign goal-scoring chart with 12 goals scored in 15 appearances.
“We are very pleased to welcome Brian Fernandez to our team,” said Giovanni Savarese, head coach of the Timbers. “Brian is a player who possesses many different attacking qualities that can cause issues for the opposition. He has shown the ability to unlock defenses and score goals in a variety of ways throughout his career, and, while we view him as a forward with our immediate group, his versatility and ability to play in different positions and systems gives us further tactical flexibility and options.”
Beginning his career with Defensa y Justicia (2012-2014), Fernandez made 67 appearances (25 starts) across four seasons, tallying 26 goals, including helping the club reach promotion to the Superliga Argentina at the conclusion of the 2013-14 Primera B Nacional campaign. Fernandez then secured a move to Superliga Argentina side Racing Club (2015-18), where he made 29 appearances (7 starts) and scored seven goals across all competitions. In 2015, Fernandez scored three goals in eight Copa Libertadores appearances for Racing. The forward was sent on loan to Club Atlético Sarmiento for the second half of the 2016-17 Superliga Argentina campaign, where he made six appearances (6 starts) and scored three goals across all competitions.
Fernandez secured a loan move in August 2017 to French club FC Metz of Ligue 1, where he made seven appearances, including making three starts and scoring three goals for Metz II. After joining Chilean side Unión La Calera in January 2018 on loan from Racing, Fernández scored a team-high 11 goals in 12 appearances (12 starts) in Primera División de Chile competition.
Transaction: Portland Timbers acquire forward Brian Fernandez as a Designated Player via transfer from Liga MX side Club Necaxa on May 6, 2019
Born: Sept. 26, 1994, in Santa Fe, Argentina
Last Club: Club Necaxa (Mexico)
Acquired: Acquired via transfer from Liga MX side Club Necaxa on May 6, 2019