By FRANCO PANIZO
The Portland Timbers struck gold with the signing of Argentine midfielder Diego Valeri last offseason. They are now hoping to do the same with one of his compatriots.
Several reports out of Argentina claim that the Timbers are set to sign Gaston Fernandez, a 30-year-old forward who just terminated his contract with Argentine club Estudiantes de La Plata. Fernandez would help fill an offseason need for Portland, which is looking to bolster its front line ahead of the 2014 season.
Fernandez, whose nickname is La Gata (the Cat), only recently made his season debut for Estudiantes after being handed a four-month ban from FIFA for a breach of contract with Mexican side Tigres UANL. He did not score in any of his 23 appearances for Estudiantes last season.
The 5-foot-7 Fernandez began his career in 2002 with famed Argentine outfit River Plate. He then played for several clubs, including Monterrey and San Lorenzo, before joining Estudiantes.
What do you think about the Timbers reportedly signing Fernandez? Do you see him becoming a reliable goal-scorer in his first season in MLS?
Share your thoughts below.
Sounds like trouble.
I don’t speak Spanish, but why would he be La Gata instead of El Gato?
Trivia–which MLS player did Max Bretos often call “El Gato”?
the recently retired Kevin “El gato” Hartman..
He got that nick name from the fans back during the rosebowl years
Is RCA still in business?
“la Gata” is more of a creative player than typical finisher, I remember him from River Plate.
Is Fernandez is a DP signing?
It doesn’t sound like it’s a DP salary. The transfer fee was around 500K I believe and it looks like it’s only for a year at this point.
I went back and looked and Valeri had 26 goals in 158 appearances for Lanus from 2003-13…he had 10 last year for the Timbers…sometimes being in the right system to do a lot for a player’s production…plus you have to figure the guy is hungry to have some success and put the past behind him. The strength and chemistry in the locker room should help to minimize any issues he had with teammates in the past…we shall see, but I am cautiously optimistic…
great pick up. won’t score 20 goals, but should provide about 10 or so, plus what he brings on the field will allow players like valeri, nagbe, urruti, etc. to be much more dangerous….portland is doing all the right things under porter.
certainly an interesting pickup…league is in love with foreign strikers, regardless of actual rates of production….if my VERY hasty research is accurate, he hasnt scored an official goal in over a year since the 2011/2012 season…
granted its a different role on the field, but does anyone have stats for Valeri prior to him coming to Portland/MLS? Obviously there’s no surefire way to predict how well a player will do, but it will say something about Portland’s eye for talent if Valeri’s stats did not jump off the page prior to MLS because we know how well he has done since he’s been here….
The Timbers are siging forwards that don’t score? Heck they could have picked up Lionard Pajoy off the waiver wire!
Portland would get more goals by converting another defenseman into a forward a la Rodney Wallace.
Considering Portland was 3rd in the league in goals last year, I trust they know what they are looking for.
One hell of a player but he’s the worst thing the can happen to a locker room.
At least that’s how he was way back when he was young. Maybe he’s changed.
New to MLS , New to America. Less media coverage. I think its perfect for him
That’s what they say when he went to Tigres. Total Disaster.
Coach wouldn’t put up with his crap at Tigres and sent him home. Same reason he got no play time at Estudiantes.
Hes a forward who failed to score in any of his 23 appearances in the Estudiantes? Not exactly what you are looking for in a forward.
Gaston has always been listed as a forward but when you see him play he’s deployed right behind the strikers, in the hole — if you will, or out wide in a playmaking role. He creates more than he scores. The question for me is how does he integrate into the lineup with Valeri. Is the idea to push Valeri up a little higher and let Gaston take the reigns as a playmaker?? It does makes sense. There must be some sort of game plan due to Paulson tweeting that Valeri play some sort of role in acquiring Gaston.
When he played for River he was a striker. Interesting signing.
Porter gets the benefit of the doubt on this one. I don’t think anyone can argue that his signings haven’t contributed.
What was the suspension for?
Breach of contract
“for a breach of contract with Mexican side Tigres UANL.”