US Major League Soccer (MLS) outfit Portland Timbers have exercised their option on 25-year-old defender Alvas Powell, outrightly signing the Jamaican for a record six-figure sum.
The deal is set to be confirmed as the largest MLS transfer involving a Jamaican player, eclipsing the US$80,000 fee paid by the Houston Dynamo in 2011 to secure Je-Vaughn Watson from Sporting Central Academy.
It’s a major development for the former Paul Bogle High student, who left Jamaica a mere 18 months ago to pursue his dream of playing professional football.
Powell, who according to reports, had begun to attract the interest from several European clubs, with Spanish second division team Real Zaragoza and in particular Turkey’s Super Lig unit Torku Konyaspur, had been on loan at the Timbers since July 2013.
Agent Romel Walen, who represented Portmore United in the negotiations, confirmed the business, and although he was unable to confirm the financial details of the transfer, pointed to the Jamaican’s meteoric rise in the Timbers’ system as a major factor in the process.
“A few (European) clubs had expressed interest in the lad, which is unsurprising given his perceived upside,” Wallen told STAR Sports in an interview recently.
”He has become a vital player in the Timbers’ playing system, which has accelerated his development. As such, they were keen not to lose him at this stage,” added Wallen.
After two seasons at Portmore United, the 6′ 0″, St Thomas native, made five appearances in his rookie season for the Timbers and was named the club’s best up- and-coming player. The defender became the outfit’s youngest player to start a MLS match at 19 years and 16 days.
In his first full season with the Timbers, Powell was again named as the club’s best up-and-coming player, starting 11 of 15 games, adding two goals and two assists, in a personally successful campaign.
Powell was a vital member of the Jamaican team that recently won the Caribbean Cup competition in Montego Bay and has also represented Jamaica at the Under 17 and Under 20 levels. He has over 13 national senior caps to his name.