The Portland Timbers have acquired Polish forward Jaroslaw Niezgoda via transfer from Polish Ekstraklasa side Legia Warsaw, the club announced on Thursday.
Niezgoda, 24, will be a designated player and his transfer is contingent on receipt of his ITC and P-1 Visa. He will occupy an international spot for the Timbers.
“Jarek is an important addition to the club and we believe he has all the attributes to be successful in MLS,” general manager and president of soccer of the Timbers Gavin Wilkinson said in a release. “He has natural goal-scoring predatory instincts and the ability to score in many different ways. We look forward to getting him on the field.”
Niezgoda spent the last three seasons with Legia Warsaw. In 62 appearances with the club, he scored 29 goals and tallied six assists.
The Poniatowa, Poland, native is in the midst of his best season during the current campaign. In 18 appearances, Niezgoda, who is 6-foot-2, leads the league with 14 goals and added two assists. Legia Warsaw is currently at the top of the Polish Ekstraklasa table with 38 points through 20 matches.
“We are pleased to add another quality attacker to the club. Jarek is a clever and dynamic forward who has shown to be a finisher,” Timbers coach Giovanni Savarese said in a release. “Not only are we getting a great player, but we are getting someone who will be a great fit for our locker room culture.”
During the 2017-18 season, Niezgoda scored 13 goals and added two assists in 27 appearances as Legia Warsaw won the league. He scored in Legia Warsaw’s 2-1 win over Arka Gdynia in the Polish Cup final.
Niezgoda made five appearances for the Polish U-21 Men’s National Team, scoring one goal.
Niezgoda fills an important offseason need for the Timbers after Brian Fernandez’s contract was terminated by MLS amid substance abuse problems. The Argentine forward had 11 goals in 19 regular season appearances before entering the league’s substance abuse program.
The Timbers begin the 2020 MLS season on March 1 against Minnesota United FC.