Portland Timbers Target Teenage Croatian Forward

New York City FC v Portland Timbers
New York City FC v Portland Timbers / Andy Mead/ISI Photos/GettyImages

As the weeks tick down towards the first round of 2023 MLS fixtures, the Portland Timbers remain in the hunt for signings to strengthen Gio Savarese's playing squad. After a disappointing 2022 campaign in which the Cascadia club failed to qualify for the MLS Cup playoffs, multiple additions have been suggested, however only one signing has been completed so far.

In December the Timbers announced the signing of Brazilian midfielder Evander from Danish side FC Midtjylland. The 24-year-old heads to Portland with big expectations as the club record signing, and will occupy a DP slot. After a superb run for the Danish club, where he racked up a tally of 50 goals and 38 assists in 167 appearances, Timbers fans will be hopeful the Brazilian can replicate that form at Providence Park.

While some reports have suggested that the Timbers front office is keen on bringing in a center-forward to bolster the team's goal-scoring output, no concrete discussions with any potential targets are yet to be reported. However, Croatian outlet 24sata has suggested that the Timbers are interested in bringing in 19-year-old forward Matija Frigan from Croatian club HNK Rijeka. The teenager has scored five goals in 13 appearances so far this season, but is labelled as one for future, not an immediate impact player. The Timbers would likely be bringing Frigan in as a 'Young DP', which would leave them with space available in the roster to bring in a senior center-forward.

According to the report, the teenager is also being monitored by multiple Serie A clubs, a popular destination for young Croatian players. However, MLS could be a good destination for the youngster to play meaningful senior minutes and develop his game, as the league continues to be grow its reputation as a developmental competition.