MLS Moves: Armenteros gives Timbers another versatile striker

Portland has bolstered its attacking ranks by negotiating a loan deal with Benevento of Italy's Serie A for Samuel Armenteros.

In the deal that includes a buy option, the Timbers used TAM to sign Armenteros, 27, who had scored one goal in nine appearances for Benevento during the current season. He arrived in Italy after hitting a career-best 22 goals in 32 games for the club he supported as a boy, Heracles of the Dutch Eredivisie, in the 2016-17 campaign.

He will add depth to a Timbers’ frontline led by Fanendo Adi, who has scored 42 goals in his three MLS seasons, and which lost Darren Mattocks via a trade to D.C. United in December.

“We are pleased to add another quality attacker to our team,” said Timbers head coach Giovani Savarese said in a press release announcing the transaction. “Samuel is a player with good technical ability that can bring others into the game and has proved to be a prolific goal-scorer. We look forward to building Samuel into the squad during the remainder of preseason, and having yet another solid attacking option to rely on for the upcoming season.”

Armenteros is the son of a Cuban father and Swedish mother who grew up in Gothenberg, and started his pro career in 2009 with Heracles after being released by Heerenveen. In a pro career that also includes stints at Anderlecht, Feyenoord, Qarabag, and Willem II he has scored 75 first-team goals. He has earned two caps for Sweden and scored his only international goal on his debut, a 1-1 tie in a friendly with Norway last June.

“Samuel Armenteros has a proven track record of scoring goals, and we will look for him to help bolster our attacking corps for the 2018 MLS season,” said Portland GM Gavin Wilkinson. “It was a priority of ours to bring in another attacker who can help influence games for us. As we looked to strengthen our group this season, we believe that Samuel has the proper mindset and characteristics to have a positive impact with this club.”
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