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Portland Timbers sign Pablo Bonilla from T2, defender Jorge Moreira returns to River Plate

Jorge Moreira - Portland Timbers - isolated


In a pair of moves announced Thursday, the Portland Timbers signed defender Pablo Bonilla from their USL affiliate and opted not to exercise their purchase option on Jorge Moreira at the end of his loan and the defender is returning to River Plate.

The club added they hoped to reach extend Moreira's loan or agree to a reduced purchase option, but no agreement was reached.

Moreira, 30, joined Portland ahead of the 2019 season and was a regular on the backline, starting 25 matches last season. He had two goals and four assists during his time in the Pacific Northwest.

“Jorge Moreira has been a fantastic, dynamic player for the Timbers and was a tremendous addition to the club,” Timbers GM and president of soccer operations Gavin Wilkinson said in a club statement. “The intention was to work with River Plate to extend his loan during these uncertain times and while River Plate is not open to this at the moment, it remains our sincere hope to see Jorge back with the Timbers in the future.”

Bonilla, 20, is a Venezuelan youth international who signed with T2 this winter. He made one appearance before the USL Championship was suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are excited to add Pablo to the first team roster from T2,” Wilkinson said. “He has settled in well and we believe he has the necessary qualities, personality and attributes to be very successful in this league.”

Prior to joining the Timbers, Moreira spent three seasons with River Plate where he made 59 appearances and won the Copa Libertadores. He began his career in Paraguay, most notably with Libertad. He also has 19 caps for the Paraguayan national team. 

“I’m extremely thankful for Jorge’s contribution to our club,” said head coach Giovanni Savarese. “He has been a great teammate and it has been a pleasure to coach him. He is a true professional who brought a lot of quality to his position.”