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Sebastián Blanco leaves Portland Timbers after seven seasons

Sebastián Blanco - Timbers


The Portland Timbers have moved on from an all-time great, confirming Thursday that club legend Sebastián Blanco won't return for the 2024 MLS season.

The 35-year-old Argentine playmaker departs after seven seasons in the Rose City. He was out of contract.

“I would like to extend my personal gratitude to Sebastián, and on behalf of everyone within the club, for his seven incredible years in Portland,” general manager Ned Grabavoy said. “Few players have made as great an impact on and off the field, and he will unquestionably go down as one of the greatest to ever wear the Green and Gold.

“He has provided all of us countless moments of excitement over the years and helped create so many lasting memories. Sebastián’s legacy will live on. We wish him all the best with any future opportunities and look forward to celebrating his contributions as a Portland Timber in the very near future.”

Blanco helped guide the Timbers to two MLS Cup finals (2018, 2021) and the MLS is Back title in 2020. The latter competition was arguably his crowning moment at the club, as he earned a Tournament Best XI spot and Player of the Tournament honors.

Blanco's 41 regular-season goals rank third all-time for Portland in the MLS era, while his 51 assists are second-most for the club in the MLS era. He played in 176 regular-season matches totaling nearly 12,000 minutes.

"Eternal thanks with all my heart, with ups and downs but it was a fantastic trip and it was beautiful to share it with you," Blanco wrote on his Instagram account. "Forever in my heart!"

Blanco's exit marks the latest turning point for Portland, who have also opened up a Designated Player spot by declining striker Jaroslaw Niezgoda's contract option. They'll also debut head coach Phil Neville in 2024 after missing out on the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs this season.