Timbers swap forwards with Toronto

By Paul Danzer, Columbian community sports reporter

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The Portland Timbers added Argentine forward Maximiliano Urruti on Monday in a trade that sends forward Bright Dike to Toronto FC.

The 22-year-old Urruti scored five goals in 28 matches for Newell's Old Boys in the 2012-13 season of Argentina's top league. He signed with Toronto FC on Aug. 17 and played in two MLS matches.

Urruti did not play for Toronto in Saturday's match against the Timbers.

Portland coach Caleb Porter said Urruti fits the Timbers style of high-pressure soccer and is a player the team had its eye on prior to his signing with Toronto.

"Urruti will complement the depth we have in the striker position, and once he is acclimated and match fit, will bring a dimension to the (striker) role that we’ve been looking for,” Porter said.

Urruti gives the Timbers added depth up front. Ryan Johnson — acquired from Toronto before this season — has eight goals in league games this season. Jose Valencia, who made his first start against Toronto, and injured veteran Frederic Piquionne are also options in the striker slot.

Dike, 26, was one of the first players signed by the Timbers when they joined Major League Soccer in 2010. He played in 23 matches for Portland, 12 of those in 2012 when he scored five goals. Preseason injuries limited Dike's availability in 2011 and this season.

Porter praised Dike's character and ability, but said the opportunity to acquire Urruti made it the right move for the Timbers now and in the future.

“This will be a great opportunity for him to contribute immediately to Toronto FC, and we know he is looking forward to the next chapter in his career," Porter said.

As art of Monday's trade, the Timbers also sent to Toronto allocation money and a first-round pick in the 2015 MLS SuperDraft. Portland received an international roster slot through Dec. 31, 2013.