The Portland Timbers are close to finalizing Lucas Melano’s return to the club, sources told MLSsoccer.com on Tuesday.
Melano signed a Designated Player contract with Portland in the summer of 2015 but has spent the last year and a half on loan in Argentina. The 25-year-old will re-join the Timbers for at least the remainder of the 2018 season.
The sources added that the Timbers are working on making another “significant addition” before the the Secondary Transfer Window closes on Wednesday and confirmed Ives Galarcep’s and Steve Goff’s reports that left back Vytas has been traded by Portland to D.C. United in exchange for $50,000 in Targeted Allocation Money.
Melano recorded four goals and eight assists in 44 regular season appearances for the Timbers and notched an assist in their 2015 MLS Cup victory at Columbus Crew SC before he was loaned to Argentine club Belgrano in January 2017.
He didn’t produce much at Belgrano, recording zero goals and one assist in 16 matches in all competitions in six months with the club. He was loaned again last July from Portland to Argentine Primera side Estudiantes de la Plata, where he tallied five goals and one assist in 26 appearances across all competitions.
Melano is expected to play primarily on the wing for Portland, but the sources said he’ll also provide cover behind Samuel Armenteros at striker.
Portland will look to extend their league-best unbeaten streak to 16 games on Saturday when they welcome Cascadia rival Vancouver Whitecaps to Providence Park (11 pm ET | TSN — Full TV & streaming info).