Cascante played for Orion and Universidad de Costa Rica before joining Saprissa in 2016. He played against the Timbers in the 2016 Concacaf Champions League group stage. Six players
from that Saprissa team are now in MLS: Adolfo Machado (Houston), Francisco Calvo (Minnesota United), Ulises Segura (D.C. United), plus
Guzman, Miller and Cascante, whose only appearance for Costa Rica came in a 2015 friendly.
The Timbers struggled at center back in recent seasons due to injuries. They will return Larrys Mabiala and Liam Ridgewell in 2018. Gbenga Arokoyo was traded to Atlanta United as part of the Darlington Nagbe deal.
Portland Timbers general manager and president of soccer Gavin Wilkinson: “Julio is a young but experienced central defender already having played in over 100 professional matches. We have monitored his progress for over a year, and have targeted him to help strengthen our backline. Julio brings an intense focus and awareness to the game and possesses a number of characteristics we believe will help propel him to the next level in his career.”
IN: Julio Cascante (Saprissa/CRC, transfer).
OUT: Gbenga Arokoyo (Atlanta United, trade), Darlington Nagbe (Atlanta United, trade), Darren Mattocks (D.C. United, trade), Amobi Okugo, Bill Tuiloma, Ben Zemanski.
Goalkeepers: Jeff Attinella, Jake Gleeson, Kendall McIntosh.
Defenders: Julio Cascante, Rennico Clarke, Marco Farfan, Larrys Mabiala, Roy Miller, Chance Myers, Alvas Powell, Liam Ridgewell, Zarek Valentin, Vytas.
Midfielders: Victor Arboleda, Dairon Asprilla, Jack Barmby, Sebastian Blanco, Diego Chara, David Guzman, Lawrence Olum, Lucas Melano, Diego Valeri.
Forwards: Fanendo Adi, Jeremy Ebobisse.