Superstar Diego Valeri's playmaking brilliance often snags the headlines. But the Portland Timbers' other Diego—the diminutive, ferocious, ever-grinning Chara—deserves just as much credit for the team’s successes over the years. As the Timbers’ first big-money signing in its inaugural MLS season in 2011, the 33-year-old Colombian is a tireless box-to-box midfielder, with an ability to appear anywhere on the field almost instantaneously—often when the rest of the defense is in trouble. He’s had his share of memorable goals, yes, but more than anything it’s his clutch defensive plays that have kept the Timbers alive and winning. Last year, Chara appeared in his first, and long overdue, MLS All Star game.
Now, Chara’s younger, more attacking-minded brother Yimmi will join the team for the 2020 season. Yimmi, 28, has bounced around Brazilian, Colombian, and Mexican leagues, most recently playing for Atlético Mineiro in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.
In a press release, general manager Gavin Wilkinson said, “Yimmi is a player we have followed closely for nearly 10 years and having the resources made available to bring him to Portland is tremendous for everyone in the club. He is a quality player and person who has proved himself at the highest level for both club and country and having two Charas on the same team is something we are all very excited about.”
Timbers Twitter had all but confirmed this signing weeks ago—though rumors of it date back a couple of years—but the team made the official announcement this morning. Yimmi Chara is a right-sided winger. He scored 10 goals in two years at Atlético Mineiro, and it’s likely the Timbers will want that goal production to continue, as the younger Chara is taking up an expensive Designated Player slot.
The Timbers begin league play on March 1 against Minnesota United at Providence Park.