MLS Insider: Tom Bogert

Official: Portland Timbers sign forward Santiago Moreno to U-22 Initiative deal

Santiago Moreno – America de Cali

UPDATE (July 29, 12:15 pm ET): The Portland Timbers have officially acquired forward Santiago Moreno from America de Cali, as reported by

"Santiago is a talented young player, who has already showcased his qualities at the club level and in Copa Libertadores,” GM and president of soccer Gavin Wilkinson said in a club statement. “He is a player that we believe can provide an impact in multiple positions in the attack. We are excited to continue supporting his development, and see him becoming an important contributor to the club.”

ORIGINAL (July 27, 4:20 pm ET): The Portland Timbers have completed the signing of Colombian forward Santiago Moreno from America de Cali, sources tell Moreno will be added to their roster as a U-22 Initiative signing.

Sam Stejskal, Paul Tenorio, Felipe Cardenas and Jeff Rueter of The Athletic first reported Portland were in negotiations to sign Moreno last week.

Moreno, 21, is a product of CD America's youth system and has made 52 appearances for their first team, recording 10 goals and seven assists. The versatile attacker, who can play on either wing or as a No. 10, had four goals and four assists across 17 league appearances this year. He's featured in both the Copa Libertadores and Copa Sudamericana.

The attacker gives head coach Giovanni Savarese further options across multiple attacking positions as the club welcomes back key players from injury. Sebastian Blanco recently returned again as he works toward full form following a torn ACL and subsequent setback, injuries that have limited him to just 52 minutes so far this season, while Jaroslaw Niezgoda is expected back soon from a torn ACL that he suffered last summer.

Moreno is a highly-rated talent and a rising young player in an attack filled with veterans, alleviating some burden on Blanco (33) and club legend Diego Valeri (35).

Forward Jeremy Ebobisse remains the subject of transfer interest, though the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the timing of an expected move. Ebobisse and Portland have a good working relationship in regards to his future. reported in the winter that several teams approached Portland about signing the American international, including Belgian giants RSC Anderlecht, German second division side Dusseldorf and Belgian club Zulte Waregem.

Portland sit eighth in the Western Conference standings with 19 points after 14 games, having weathered a storm of injuries to key players early in the year.