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Report: Santiago Moreno requests transfer from Timbers
The electric 23-year-old Colombian attacker is reportedly upset with the Timbers organization and coaching staff, and wants out.
Just over twelve hours after the Portland Timbers saw their match against the Colorado Rapids suspended due to weather, a eyebrow-raising report dropped regarding one of their young talents.
Ryan Clarke of The Oregonian/OregonLive reported that Santiago Moreno has requested a transfer from the Portland Timbers, citing a feeling of being under appreciated by the organization and frustration with the coaching staff as the main motivators. In his report, Clarke reported that contract talks between Moreno and the Timbers have broken down, and is frustrated with how he is utilized in head coach Giovanni Savarese’s system.
A source confirmed to Clarke that Moreno was in fact “furious” with the coach, and that the player believes a change in scenery would be the best for his career. In a meeting with Timbers General Manager Ned Grabavoy, according to text messages that The Oregonian/OregonLive obtained, Moreno shared his desire to leave Portland.
Moreno, originally signed by the Timbers as their inaugural U-22 Initiative signing in the summer of 2021, is under contract through 2026. After exploding onto the scene down the stretch in 2021 and having a breakout year in 2022, Santi is having a bit of a dip in form as he has yet to score in any of his 21 appearances in 2023. He leads the team with six assists recorded this year.
Despite his woes this season, Moreno is still an electrifying attacking player who looks to have a bright future in soccer.
The huge shift is that that future might be moving on from the Portland Timbers, and it might be now.
Savvy Timbers fans should have probably always acted under the assumption that Santi would one day be sold from Portland, with the Timbers hopefully netting a significant profit. But for that potential transfer to potentially be coming so abruptly, and under such gloomy circumstances, is surprising and concerning.
In a statement to The Oregonian/OregonLive, Timbers General Manager Ned Grabavoy confirmed the stagnation of contract talks — and the team’s commitment to finding a positive solution.
“Santi is a player our club continues to have a strong belief in since our initial investment in transferring the player to Portland as a 21-year-old leaving his home country for the first time,” Grabavoy told the O. “The club has made multiple attempts this season to work towards contract improvements with no outcome. While the player is under contract through the 2026 season, we remain open to finding a solution that satisfies all parties involved. Our staff continues to support Santi in his development both on and off the field, with the goal of returning him back to his best level.”
The MLS secondary transfer window opened today, and will stay open for the next month until August 2. So whatever the fate of Moreno may be, and whether his immediate future lies with the Timbers or elsewhere, it’s true that Portland’s summer just become a lot more intriguing.