Timbers sign Colombian Valencia as young DP

The Portland Timbers signed teenage Colombian forward Jose Adolfo Valencia on Thursday as a young Designated Player.

Valencia, 19, is considered one of Colombia's top young players. He has played professionally since he was 16, and helped Colombia's Under-20 team claim the 2011 Toulon Tournament and reach the quarterfinals of FIFA U-20 World Cup.

"We are excited about acquiring our first young Designated Player. Jose is a very gifted player who possesses great athleticism and maturity on the field for a player of his age," said Timbers general manager Gavin Wilkinson.

"He is an imposing player on the field, has a tremendous upside and we look forward to watching his continued development in MLS."

Valencia is the second designated player signed by the Timbers. He spent most of his first four pro years with Colombian first division side Sante Fe, with the exception of a loan to Juventud Soacha in 2008.

"Jose is a young player we've been monitoring for the last 12 months. It is nice to finally say he's a Timbers player," said Portland coach John Spencer.

"He is powerful and quick and should be a nice complement to the attacking players we have with the club already. It is important to give him time to settle into a new culture and country and not put too much pressure on him too soon; he has tremendous potential."

Nicknamed "The Little Train," Valencia is the son of former Colombia national team player Adolfo Valencia, who played in the 1994 and 1998 FIFA World Cups. Adolfo Valencia ended his pro career with the MetroStars in 2001.

Valencia will be added to Portland's roster pending the successful completion of a physical. Per club and MLS policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.