We have some big news coming out of Portland today. The Portland Timbers have signed Gaston Fernandez to a new deal, according to Soccerly. Estudiantes club president Enrique Lombardi confirmed the news on Twitter after a meeting with the player and he is now bound to Portland to join fellow countrymen Diego Valeri and Maximiliano Urruti next season. Fernandez signed a one-year contract with Portland and in his negotiations with the club he had to give back US$500 thousand in order to leave his current contract.
Estudiantes also keep the player’s rights in Argentina should he decide to return to play in the Argentine league.
So what does Fernandez bring to the table? A report from Soccerly suggests…much.
He’s cat quick with his reflexes and is constantly thinking and looking for space to take advantage of and can kill you with the ball at his feet. He’s also able to get to you by dropping back, going out wide, or attacking right smack dab in the middle. Right now many members of the Timbers Army will be looking at how they can use one of the songs of Beauty and the Beast whenever their newest signing is involved in a Timbers goal.
Fernández will also attempt to break down a defender without thinking twice. As a second striker, his capabilities make him a difference maker on the attack. He has also played in a 4-2-3-1 where he’s played both on the right or the left, making him a versatile option if the situation call for tactical or personnel changes.
He is just as lethal on the outside as he is in the middle. Most important, he has a first touch that will make him very dangerous and the physicality and space (or lack thereof) in MLS. He can create some important situation out of barely any space. Oh, he will also take the outside shot if you give him the opportunity to. He is a player that can be a true pleasure to watch in the upcoming MLS season with Diego Valeri a little further back.
Fernández is also a great option on freekicks and set pieces as well.
So there you have it, a man with experience and versatility. Just the player the Portland Timbers needs to get over the hump and make 2014 their year. But will Gaston Fernandez really lead them to the promised land? Stay tuned…