The Portland Timbers are reportedly going back to their Argentinean well.
In an offseason that has seen the CONCACAF Champions League-bound club go after some big names from the soccer crazed South American country, it seems exceedingly clear that it is hoping the magic bottled last year with midfielder Diego Valeri keeps flowing.
A report Monday in Argentina daily Diario Olé claimed the Timbers are close to signing Tigre defender Norberto Paparatto pending an upcoming medical examination.
Portland are also reportedly on the verge of signing Argentinean striker Gastón “La Gata” Fernández, which along with 22-year-old forward Maximiliano Urruti, could potentially give the Timbers a grand total of four Argentineans on their roster for 2014. Valeri was named MLS’ Newcomer of the Year after he was one of just two players to record double-digit goal (10) and assist (league-best 13) totals.
When contacted by MLSsoccer.com, a Timbers official declined comment on the report.
Paparatto, a 30-year-old center back, was recently elected Tigre’s captain and has been with the club since the 2007-08 season. The Buenos Aires-based side finished runners-up to the Argentine Primera División title three times and runners-up in the 2012 Copa Sudamericana during Paparatto’s tenure.
Fernández, 30, of the Primera División’s Estudiantes de La Plata, has scored 21 goals in 87 appearances for Los Pincharratas.