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Portland Timbers trade Alvas Powell to FC Cincinnati

Dec 8, 2018; Atlanta, GA, USA; Portland Timbers defender Alvas Powell (2) against the Atlanta United FC in the 2018 MLS Cup championship game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. (Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports)

The Portland Timbers made another trade with Major League Soccer’s newest expansion franchise, FC Cincinnati, sending defender Alvas Powell to the midwestern side Wednesday in exchange for $250,000 in General Allocation Money. A source confirmed details of the trade with Jamie Goldberg of The Oregonian/OregonLive.

According to the source, the Timbers will also retain a sell-on fee of 25 percent if Cincinnati moves Powell in the future, meaning the deal could net Portland even more financial gain down the road.

The Jamaican defender was once considered one of the club’s most promising young stars and featured as the team’s starting right back in their run up to the MLS Cup championship in 2015. Powell, who joined the Timbers in 2013, made 24 starts and recorded two goals and three assists in 2018, but he lost his starting spot at right back late in the year after the club acquired left back Jorge Villafana and moved Zarek Valentin to the right back position. As the roster has continued to take shape under first-year coach Giovanni Savarese, it became clear that chances Powell would return to Portland next season were “slim to none.”

This is the second time the Timbers have made a trade with Cincinnati after they sent their one time star striker Fanendo Adi to the new club in exchange for a mix of $850,000 in General and Targeted Allocation Money.

Allocation money is a valuable tool for roster building in MLS. It allows clubs to better navigate the salary cap. General Allocation Money can be used to buy down a player’s salary cap hit, to sign new or existing players and to offset acquisition costs. Targeted Allocation Money can be used to buy down the salary cap hit on players making more than the maximum budget charge. The Timbers used Targeted Allocation Money in the summer of 2018 to acquire several players including Samuel Armenteros, Julio Cascante, Andy Polo and Cristhian Paredes.

This won’t be the last move from the Timbers this offseason. The club has said they will be looking to add players to strengthen the roster at three of four positions before the start of next season.
This story was first published Dec. 26, 2018, in The Oregonian
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