The San Jose Earthquakes will acquire forward Jeremy Ebobisse from the Portland Timbers in a blockbuster trade, Steven Goff of the Washington Post reported Wednesday night.
The Athletic's Paul Tenorio adds the deal will be for $1.167 General Allocation Money and that Ebobisse is expected to sign a new contract in San Jose.
Ebobisse was not on the matchday roster as Portland faced San Jose on Wednesday, a match that ended in a 1-1 draw. Afterward, head coach Giovanni Savarese suggested an announcement from the club would be forthcoming.
"I can [only] comment so much about it because I think the club is preparing to be able to make an announcement," Savarese said. "He’s a player that means a lot to us, he’s a player that I saw grow in the club. He’s a player that is very dear to all of us and I think sometimes there’s decisions that are made that not always all are on an agreement. But also this league sometimes as well, [it] has some things in regards to the way salaries ... that have to be managed that makes it difficult as well."
A move for Ebobisse had been a likely outcome for some time, sources told MLSsoccer.com. It was expected by all parties that a transfer to Europe would have materialized by this time, but the COVID-19 pandemic hampered those expectations. In the meantime, a number of MLS teams called Portland about the forward before the club ultimately agreed to a deal with San Jose.
Ebobisse wants to play as a No. 9, rather than as a winger as he had often in Portland. The club understood that desire and helped facilitate a move.
In San Jose, Ebobisse will likely be given every opportunity to start through the center. His work-rate and pressing ability should make him a solid fit in Matias Almeyda's high-octane defensive scheme. San Jose currently sit three points below the playoff line in the Western Conference after 17 games played, the exact midpoint of the 2021 season.
Ebobisse, 24, has four goals in 13 appearances (11 starts) this season. After being selected by the Timbers No. 4 overall in the 2017 MLS SuperDraft, he went on to make 88 appearances (54 starts) with the club. He had 26 goals and eight assists, and was a key cog in their run to MLS Cup final in 2018.