By DAN KARELL
The fourth and final move of the day for the Portland Timbers managed to be a historic one.
For the first time in Major League Soccer history, the Portland Timbers have signed a player to a Homegrown player contract despite that player coming up through a different academy system. The Timbers announced on Wednesday that defender Bryan Gallego has signed with the club, opting to forgo his final year of eligibility at Akron University.
The Timbers acquired the rights to sign Gallego from the New York Red Bulls last year in a trade that sent full back Kosuke Kimura to the Red Bulls. Gallego was a member of the Red Bulls academy from 2007-2011, before matriculating to Akron.
In his three years with the Zips, including two seasons under Timbers head coach Caleb Porter, Gallego proved to be one of the best centerbacks in the country. Gallego played 64 games scoring one goal and one assist and leading the Zips to 35 shutouts. Gallego also played for the Timbers U-23 PDL squad this past summer.
What do you think of this news? Do you think the Timbers should have been able to sign Gallego to a Homegrown player contract? What can his impact be in the Timbers’ squad next season?
Share your thoughts below.