Timbers mine Colombia again for defender Mosquera

The Portland Timbers added defender Hanyer Mosquera to the ranks on Tuesday, culminating a long courting process to grab one of Colombia’s most promising young talents.

Mosquera, 24, joins the Timbers after playing the past six seasons in Colombia, including the last two with first-division side Club Deportivo La Equidad Seguros. Last season, he helped lead La Equidad to the finals of the Liga Postobón’s Apertura campaign and competed in the 2011 Copa Sudamericana.

“Hanyer is a player we’ve had our eye on for 18 months,” Timbers GM Gavin Wilkinson said in a statement. “He has all the attributes needed to become one of the top defenders in MLS.”

The 6-foot-1, 175-pound Mosquera will be added to the Timbers roster following the receipt of his International Transfer Certificate (ITC) and P1 Visa.

A native of Istmina, Colombia, Mosquera played in 34 matches, scored two goals and aided in 10 shutouts in league play for La Equidad in 2011. He anchored the club’s backline during the Apertura campaign, starting 22 games, including six playoff matches, and scored in the second leg of the quarterfinals against Envigado to guide the club to the finals against Atlético Nacional.

In the 2011 Copa Sudamericana, Mosquera made four starts for La Equidad during the tournament and scored the game-winning goal in an opening-round match against Peruvian side Juan Aurich.

He started his professional career at the age of 19 in 2006, signing with Colombian second-division club Corporación Deportiva Centauros Villavicencio. He played the last four seasons in Colombia’s top flight, the Liga Postobón, with Corporación Deportes Quindío (2008-10) and La Equidad (2010-11). In total, Mosquera appeared in 127 matches and scored six goals during his career in the Liga Postobón.

Mosquera joined La Equidad from Quindío midway through the 2010 season, and then helped La Equidad qualify for the Clausura playoffs as well as the 2011 Copa Sudamericana and advance to the semifinals of the 2010 Copa Colombia tournament.

Mosquera is the fourth Colombian player to join the Timbers’ roster since the club began play in MLS last season, joining midfielder Diego Chara and forward Jorge Perlaza and Jose Adolfo Valencia. He’s also the second defender to come on board in the past week after the club drafted Generation adidas and former Connecticut defender Andrew Jean-Baptiste during the MLS SuperDraft last Thursday.