TRANSFER TRACKER STATUS: Trade
LA receive Villafana and Portland’s natural first-round pick (16th overall) in the 2021 MLS SuperDraft, while the Timbers get the Galaxy’s natural first-round pick (8th overall) in the upcoming SuperDraft. Portland could also receive additional Allocation Money if Villafana meets certain performance levels with his new club.
“Jorge is a talented veteran defender with extensive experience playing at a high level in Major League Soccer,” LA Galaxy general manager Dennis te Kloese said in a release. “We are confident in his ability to contribute to our club on the field, in our locker room and in our community. We are excited to welcome Jorge home and have him join our club.”
Villafana arrives in LA having featured in 188 games (159 starts) across an MLS career that began in 2007 with now-defunct Chivas USA. Nicknamed “Sueno,” his professional career started after he appeared on “Sueno MLS,” a reality TV show that had a tryout as the reward.
The 31-year-old was traded to Portland ahead of the 2014 season, where he spent two years before heading to Liga MX side Santos Laguna for several years. Villafana then returned to MLS with Portland in 2018, locking down the starting spot and helping them win last summer’s MLS is Back Tournament. He was also part of their MLS Cup-winning side in 2015.
“Jorge has been a model professional for the club and I would like to thank him and his family for their commitment and contributions to the Timbers,” Gavin Wilkinson, general manager and president of soccer for the Timbers, said in a release. “His performances and success for this club will leave a lasting memory and we wish him and his family all the best.”
Earlier this offseason, Portland acquired Argentine youth international left back Claudio Bravo from Banfield. That created competition at the position, while LA declined the 2021 contract option on left back Emiliano Insua after this past season.
LA, who recently appointed Greg Vanney as head coach upon his departure from Toronto FC, will be looking to shore up their defense. They allowed 46 goals in 2020, which was the second-most in MLS. Villafana, who has 21 US men's national team caps, will look to play his part in strengthening that backline.