The Portland Timbers have boosted their attacking corps for the 2020 season by acquiring Colombian winger Yimmi Chara via transfer from Brazilian side Atletico Mineiro as a Designated Player, the club announced Thursday.
At Mineiro, Chara has scored seven times and assisted on eight occasions in 56 matches since joining from Atletico Junior in his home country. Chara is the younger brother of longtime Timbers’ midfielder Diego Chara, marking the first time brothers will be on the same MLS roster since the 2019 MLS Cup-winning Seattle Sounders featured Cristian Roldan and Alex Roldan.
“Yimmi is a player we have followed closely for nearly 10 years and having the resources made available to bring him to Portland is tremendous for everyone in the club,” said Timbers GM and president of soccer Gavin Wilkinson in a statement. “He is a quality player and person who has proved himself at the highest level for both club and country and having two Charas on the same team is something we are all very excited about.”
Chara, 28, primarily plays out wide and arrives in Portland with 10 caps and one goal for the Colombian national team, with his last appearance coming in a March 2019 friendly against Japan.
He’ll give the Timbers another proven attacker from South America to join Argentine veterans Sebastian Blanco and Diego Valeri pulling the strings. US men’s national team prospect Jeremy Ebobisse returns for his fourth professional season, while the club are also looking to replace Brian Fernandez, whose contract was terminated on Nov. 15 after signing a Designated Player deal last May.
“I am very happy and excited to join the Timbers. Everything my brother has done and what he has mentioned about the team and the city is a great indication of what things could be for me and my family next season,” said Yimmi. "I am going through a great moment in my career and I feel confident I will be able to give the organization my best to help them achieve their goals on and off the field."
The Timbers enter their third year under head coach Giovanni Savarese. They made the first round of the Audi 2019 MLS Cup Playoffs last year before losing to Real Salt Lake, a setback after making MLS Cup in 2018.
Chara and Portland will begin their 2020 season March 1 at home against Minnesota United FC. They’re also hosting a preseason tournament at Providence Park from Feb. 16-22.