Portland Timbers exercise option on Fanendo Adi, sign forward to Designated Player contract
Portland Timbers striker Fanendo Adi has made a good impression since joining the team on loan in May. Now, he's set to stay for good.
The Timbers announced on Monday that the club has exercised the purchase option on Adi from Danish first-division side FC Copenhagen, signing the Nigerian striker to a multi-year contract as a Designated Player. Adi was originally acquired by the Timbers on loan from FC Copenhagen on May 13. Per MLS and club policy, terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
“Taking a player on loan prior to purchasing his rights gives you a first-hand look at the player in every regard and reduces the risk,” said Timbers general manager Gavin Wilkinson in a statement. “With Adi performing well and fitting into the club culture and team dynamics, the decision to take up the purchase option was an easy one. He is young and has already shown the ability to be a dominant forward in this league.”
Quickly making his presence felt after joining the Timbers, Adi, 23, netted a brace in each of his first two starts after joining the club, and has four goals and two assists in six league matches (three starts) for Portland this season.
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“Obviously, Adi has made an immediate impact with our club and we are extremely pleased to have him on board now long-term,” Timbers head coach Caleb Porter said in a statement. “He has proven to be an ideal fit in our system and possesses qualities that will make him a very effective striker in this league. We look forward to his contributions for years to come.”
Adi was named Major League Soccer’s Player of the Week for Week 14 for a two-goal effort in a 3-1 win at Real Salt Lake on June 7. He registered an assist on a crucial, game-tying goal as a substitute in his first appearance with the Timbers against Columbus on May 17, then went on to score both goals in a 2-0 victory at Chivas USA in his first Timbers start on May 28.
The Lagos native appeared in nine league matches (six starts) for FC Copenhagen during the 2013-14 Danish Super Ligaen season, scoring three goals, including a tally in his debut for the club in a 1-1 draw against FC Vestsjælland on Aug. 25, 2013.
The 6-foot-4 forward also featured in three group-stage matches during the 2013-14 UEFA Champions League tournament, earning a start in a 1-1 draw against Italian club Juventus and making substitute appearances against Real Madrid and Turkish club Galatasaray.