"El Trencito" is chugging away from JELD-WEN Field, bound for a year-long stint in the Argentinean first division.
The Portland Timbers announced on Wednesday that José Adolfo Valencia will join Argentine club Olimpo de Bahía Blanca on a season-long loan. The Colombian forward made regular-season 21 appearances (5 starts) for the Timbers in 2013, scoring one goal and three assists.
“José is a young and talented player who needs consistent playing time in order to continue in his development,” Portland general manager Gavin Wilkinson said in a statement. “With the addition of Gastón Fernández, we felt it was best for José to go on loan.
“Olimpo is excited to have José on loan and the club will provide him the opportunity to gain valuable experience in a top league and will continue to push him in his development.”
Valencia, 21, was joined Portland as a Young Designated Player ahead of the 2012 season on loan from Colombian side Independiente Santa Fe, but a knee problem necessitated surgery that sidelined him for nearly all of that campaign. He moved to the Rose City on a permanent basis a year ago, signing a multi-year contract with the Timbers that removed his Young DP designation.
Last season, he also played in three matches during Portland’s run to the 2013 US Open Cup semifinals and made two appearances in the MLS Cup playoffs. The Bogotá native was the leading scorer for the Timbers Reserves with five goals in MLS Reserve League play.
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A standout in the Colombian youth national team system, Valencia is the son of former Colombian great Adolfo "El Tren" (The Train) Valencia, who played in the 1994 and 1998 World Cups and spent time in MLS with the MetroStars (now New York Red Bulls) from 2000-01.
Olimpo is located in the city of Bahía Blanca, some 400 miles southwest of Buenos Aires. The club finished the Primera División’s Torneo Inicial with a record of 6-8-5 (23 pts). Argentina’s Torneo Final runs from February to June.