The news is now official, as the LA Galaxy announced Tuesday they have acquired defender Jorge Villafaña in a trade with the Portland Timbers. In exchange for Villafaña and Portland’s 1st round draft pick in the 2021 MLS SuperDraft (No. 16 overall), Portland receive LA’s 1st round draft pick in the same draft (No. 8 overall), and could receive allocation money if Villafaña reaches certain performance metrics.
This move was reported last month and seemed at the time likely to happen. The 31-year-old joins after making just under 200 MLS appearances to date in his career, for the Timbers and Chivas USA. He also spent two years in Liga MX playing for Santos Laguna.
“Jorge is a talented veteran defender with extensive experience playing at a high level in Major League Soccer,” said LA Galaxy General Manager Dennis te Kloese in a team statement. “We are confident in his ability to contribute to our club on the field, in our locker room and in our community. We are excited to welcome Jorge home and have him join our club.”
Villafaña belongs to the club of players who’s won both an MLS Cup and Liga MX league title in his career. He also won the MLS is Back Tournament with the Timbers last summer.
He began his career with a literal rags to riches tale, plucked from obscurity in a reality show to earn a tryout with Chivas USA and beginning his pro career in 2007. Originally a winger, the Anaheim native moved back to left back with the Timbers and saw his career really take off, and he has 21 caps with the U.S. Men’s National Team.
I would wager this means Emiliano Insua, the starting left back last season, won’t be returning to the Galaxy, since his age and profile are pretty similar to Villafaña’s. For now, we’ll pencil in Villafaña as the starting left back in Greg Vanney’s first season back in LA and see what the future brings.
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