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MLS Notes: Portland signs Colombian defender, ‘Caps add Knighton and more

Mosquera (Getty Images)

The Colombia-to-Portland pipeline is back in action.

The Portland Timbers announced the acquisition of 24-year-old defender Hanyer Mosquera, a 6-foot-1 centerback expected to come in and add a dominating presence along the Portland back line. Mosquera becomes the fourth Colombian on the Timbers, joining Designated Players Diego Chara and Jose Adolfo Valencia and forward Jorge Perlaza. He has played in his native Colombia for the last six years, including spending the last two at top-flight club La Equidad.

"Hanyer is a player we've had our eye on for 18 months," Timbers general manager Gavin Wilkinson said in a release. "He has all the attributes needed to become one of the top defenders in MLS."

With David Horst out for up to the next seven months after hip surgery, the club's centerback corps was thin beyond 2011 starters Futty Danso and Eric Brunner. With first-round SuperDraft pick Andrew Jean-Baptiste and now Mosquera brought into the fold, the Timbers have addressed that need head on.

Here are a couple of more items from around MLS:


Martin Rennie has gone back to the Carolina Railhawks well once again. 

The Vancouver Whitecaps announced the acquisition of goalkeeper Brad Knighton, bringing the former New England Revolution and Philadelphia Union shot stopper back to MLS after a year in NASL.

Knighton starred under Rennie for the Railhawks last season, and he joins midfielder Matt Watson as former Railhawks to follow Rennie to Vancouver. 

He slots in behind Joe Cannon on the Whitecaps' goalkeeper depth chart but could push for the starting gig, something he had a brief hold on while playing for the Union during their expansion season. In Carolina last season, Knighton was a NASL Best XI performer and backstopped the club to the league's best record in the regular season.


Sporting Kansas City made a deal with the San Jose Earthquakes in advance of the Supplemental Draft, acquiring the rights to local product and midfielder Michael Thomas in exchange for a fourth-round pick in Tuesday's event.

Thomas, who is from the Kansas City area and played collegiately at Notre Dame, was a former second-round SuperDraft selection of the Earthquakes in 2010, but he opted to try his hand in Sweden, signing with Halmstads BK.

Should he come to MLS, Sporting KC would have the first option to add him to its roster.


What do you think of Portland's latest signing? Think Knighton can press for starter's minutes in Vancouver? Think the SKC-SJ trade makes sense for both teams?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Do you have any idea what you’re talking about? Did you even attempt to look it up? NO.

    Chara came on as a 63rd minute substitute in the World Cup Qualifier versus Bolivia on October 11, 2011.

    But, you know, continue to think you know everything. That will take you far.

  2. They have added nice depth in the 2 drafts, but they need to replace the losses of Juninho and Omar. An upgrade to Cristman is also sorely needed.

  3. LA has been very quiet in the transfer/free agent market…They need to find some starters at a few positions, or they wont have the same success this season.

  4. No, Boyens only makes good depth. LA should be going after a player of Mosquera’s caliber in the free agent market. LA also needs a starting forward to pair with Keane and a true Left Winger to spell Magee. There should be no problem finding young, hungry players like this for a team with the popularity of LA.

  5. Still three better teams in the west than Portland. LA, Seattle and RSL. All improved except LA who either will stay the same or be not as good as last year, depending on what Becks does. Portland has improved to be sure but they’re not going to surprise anyone this year and it’s hard to say that they’re new additions will be as affective has you’d like to think. Many international players don’t do well in MLS for some reason or another.

  6. Colombian centerbacks in the national team pool: Christian Zapata (Villareal) Ivan Cordoba (intermilan) Mario Yepes (AC Milan) Luis Perea (Atletico Madrid) Aquivaldo Mosquera (Club America). Yet an MLS player is gonna see the field over these guys……..Riiiiiiiiight…

  7. LOL not gonna happen man. Colombia has a really talented national team and most of the callups go those playing in europe or the super young talented players still in Colombia. “elite” MLS Colombians like freddy montero and Juan Pablo Angel aren’t on the national team radar. (montero briefly was a year or 2 ago, but he just wasn’t on the same level as the other forwards)

  8. As a Timbers fanatic, that’s a pretty rosy-tinted projection. Yet, I do wonder about LA’s ability in the midfield and defense. Was interested in how they replaced Keller in Seattle but seem satisfied they found a replacement. Dallas is without a core CB. Unsure about the rest.

    If Portland keeps or improves on the 1.1 GAA they had in the last 15 matches, they will do good this year.

  9. Love the enthusiasm and support Mustaphaf. But as a Timbers supporter I have to say that predicting a western conference win seems a little much for a team going into their sophomore season.

    I like their additions this year too and their addition by subtraction (Cooper). I expect them to be improved this season and make the playoffs. If they can surprise people and be as good as you predict, then great! But we have to be realistic too. So I’m NOT expecting dominance yet. Give them another year or two.

  10. People may scoff at this but Portland are legit and will likely win the western confrence… The team play for a coach they truely believe in, they’ve had a year to gel, their Colombians have had more time to aclimatize, and they play a physical and direct style of play which makes them very tough to beat (especially at Jeld-Wen).

    Considering the competition..

    *LA- Gonzalez and Juninho did much of the heavy lifting in 2011, losing that pair really cripples them + congested schedule with CL.

    *RSL- haven’t been a the same since losing to Monterrey + Rimando, Beckerman, Morales & Saborio aren’t getting any younger.

    *FCD- Perez finally gives them a true #9, but losing John and Jackson really hurts.

    *SSFC- Partial rebuild mode + losing Keller changes the locker room dynamic.

    *CHVS- Fraser’s finding round pegs for round holes for a change but is still a season or two away from being a real force.

    *SJE- Starting to look like a well rounded club but still a lot of question marks.

    *CR- Solid core group of players but several coming off a injury plagued 2011. Pareja looks the part but it will take time for him implement his style of play.

    *VWFC- Rennie has his work cut out for him.. off season signings have been underwhelming + Still need a ball winning midfielder and a CB or 2 to partner Demerit(Bonjour looks the part but only time will tell).

  11. Glad to see Brad Knighton back in MLS. He deserves to be there. He was a welcome relief from watching Seitz in that first year for the Union, and Caps fans will appreciate his work ethic and perseverance.

  12. I think Portland is on to something with all their Colombian signings. Perlaza and Chara are exciting players to watch. Would be funny if a quarter of Portland’s starters were called up to the Colombian national team at once.

  13. good to see MLS getting more players from South America. We need more deals with those leagues to make it an easier process. Heck why not formalize it so we can loan our players there and vice versa. Kinda like how busines with trades to Scandinavian leagues with MLS players and college players has dramatically increased over the years/


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