Julio Cascante - Costa Rica U-23s vs. Mexico - 2015
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Portland Timbers sign Costa Rican defender Julio Cascante from Saprissa

TRANSFER TRACKER STATUS: Transfer

The Portland Timbers dipped into the Costa Rican market for a new acquisition once more on Tuesday, when they announced that they signed center back Julio Cascante from Saprissa. The Timbers announced that they used Targeted Allocation Money to complete the transfer.

Cascante, 24, is the third player to move to Portland from Saprissa in the last year, joining midfielder David Guzman and defender Roy Miller, both of whom signed with the Timbers last offseason.

“Julio is a young but experienced central defender already having played in over 100 professional matches,” Timbers GM Gavin Wilkinson said in a statement released by the club. “We have monitored his progress for over a year, and have targeted him to help strengthen our backline. Julio brings an intense focus and awareness to the game and possesses a number of characteristics we believe will help propel him to the next level in his career.”

Cascante joined Saprissa ahead of the 2016 Costa Rica Primera Division season, making 51 league appearances for the club over the last two seasons. He also made five appearances in the CONCACAF Champions League, including two starts against the Timbers, to help Saprissa advance to the quarterfinals of the 2016-17 competition.

Prior to joining Saprissa, Cascante spent three seasons with CF Universidad de Costa Rica and one season with Orion FC. He made his loan appearance for Costa Rica’s senior national team in a friendly in December 2015 against Nicaragua. He played for Costa Rica's U-23s during CONCACAF's qualifying tournament for the 2016 Olympics.

Cascante is the first signing of the offseason for the Timbers, who parted ways with head coach Caleb Porter after the 2017 season and appointed Giovanni Savarese to the post.

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