Portland Timbers with Multinational Loyalties

Some Portland soccer pros salute several flags.

By Zach Dundas and Marty Patail February 21, 2013

in soccer, patriotism can be tricky. Thanks to stretchy “citizenship” rules, a pro born in one country can play for a different land in international competition, while talent migration gives youngsters tangled roots. As the Timbers kick off a new season, we present five players with elastic identities. (Note: sports are cruel and rosters are subject to change.) 

Bright Dike 

USA Nigeria

The muscular (and, some say, callipygian) striker hails from Oklahoma, but Nigeria-born parents make him eligible for that country’s national team. He scored for the Super Eagles against Catalonia—no, not legally a country, but that’s another story.



Mobi Fehr 

USA japan switzerland

The teenage midfielder (and triple citizen) was born in New York, grew up in Tokyo, and played for a Swiss team. Can he take on teammate Sal Zizzo’s Italian food cart with a pizza/sushi/fondue bike delivery service? 




Rodney Wallace   

Costa Rica USA

Born in San Jose, Costa Rica, Wallace moved to Maryland when he was 9. In 2011, he scored a goal for Los Ticos against the USA—causing Timbers fans to erupt in emotionally conflicted hurrahs/jeers. 



Will Johnson 

Canada England USA

Born in Toronto to British parents, our newest midfielder split his youth between Chicago and England. He’s now a regular player for Canada’s national team. We can’t wait to ask him for tips on jet lag recuperation. 



 Danny Mwanga 

Congo NoPo

Raised in Kinshasa, Mwanga emigrated as a teen and ended up at Portland’s own Jefferson High School. No word on whether he and fellow Timber Brent Richards (Camas High School) argue over local-roots bragging rights.





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