Report: Portland Timbers, Jaroslaw Niezgoda nearing Designated Player deal


Update – Jan. 11, 3:30 pm ET – A Designated Player deal between the Portland Timbers and Jaroslaw Niezgoda is nearly complete, according to ESPN national soccer writer Jeff Carlisle. He outlines that Niezgoda would arrive from Legia Warsaw via a $3.8 million transfer fee, and all that remains is completing a medical. 

The Portland Timbers have agreed to contract terms with 24-year-old Polish forward Jaroslaw Niezgoda and the striker has asked his club Legia Warsaw for a transfer, according to a report from Poland daily sports newspaper Przeglad Sportowy.

That might not be easily (or at least cheaply) granted. Legia currently hold a two-point lead in atop the Ekstaklasa, and Niezgoda is a major reason why, scoring 14 of their 40 goals to date. However, the report notes that Legia could receive $5 million for the striker's services, along with a portion of any future transfer.

Rumors connecting the Timbers with the Legia striker first surfaced last week, and they certainly make sense. Finding a replacement for Brian Fernandez up top is the most obvious offseason need for Giovanni Savarese's side. 

Niezgoda would appear a capable replacement, having already cemented his third double-digit goal season in his domestic league. Prior to this season, his previous career best was 13 goals in 27 appearances during the 2017-18 season, according to Soccerway.

After a smoking hot start to his MLS tenure in May last year, Fernandez cooled off on the field, and then was unavailable for the postseason after entering the league's substance abuce program in early October. His contract was terminated a month later.

Jeremy Ebobisse scored a career-best 11 league goals while alternating between a wide role and striking duties, but he's currently Portland's only forward on the roster.