Timbers Securing Their Defense: Portland Cements Deal for Star Center Back Miguel Araujo
According to sources from the transaction, the Portland Timbers are close to signing center-back Miguel Araujo from Dutch team FC Emmen. Since the sources aren’t authorized to discuss the deal publicly, their identities have been protected.
Araujo, 28, is a seasoned international defender for Peru, and he would team up with Zac McGraw, Dario Zuparic, and Larrys Mabiala at center back. The Timbers have sought assistance since moving Bill Tuiloma to Charlotte FC in the preseason.
The Peruvian center-back has played 76 Eredivisie games since joining FC Emmen in 2019. After this season, the team was demoted from the Dutch first division. Araujo has 28 appearances for Peru, and most recently, he was a team member for friendlies against South Korea and Japan.
On July 13, 2011, Miguel Araujo joined Cobresol’s first team to begin his senior career. On matchday 27 of the Torneo Descentralizado on November 5, 2011, at the age of 17, he made his league debut away against Universidad César Vallejo. Teddy Cardama’s starting lineup featured Araujo, who Jaime La Torre eventually replaced in the final minute of play as Vallejo claimed a 1-0 victory. He started again in his next game, his team’s 1-1 home tie with Universitario de Deportes for matchday 28. He started the subsequent games and earned his first victory for his team in the 3-1 win over Colegio Nacional Iquitos on matchday 30.
In January 2012, Arauho departed Cobresol to join Sport Huancayo. Before moving to Europe, he participated in over 40 league games with Sport Huancayo. He committed to the Serbian club Red Star Belgrade on July 29, 2013, and was given the number 20 for his shirt. On October 19, 2013, he made his club debut in a 5-1 victory over Novi Pazar, with manager Slavia Stojanovi praising his “solid” performance. Araujo has established himself as a regular at Alianza Lima since his return from Serbia during the following seasons.
Araujo participated in the Peru U20 squad in the 2013 South American Youth Championship and the Peru U17 national team that came fourth at the South American Under-17 Football Championship in 2011. He was called to the Peru senior national team on March 27, 2013, for a game against Trinidad and Tobago. On November 18, 2014, he made his Peruvian debut against Paraguay in a friendly match. He was included in Peru’s 23-man roster for the 2018 World Cup in Russia in June of that year.
After 76 appearances for Emmen in the Eredivisie, Araujo would join the team, contributing six goals and one assist. He also played for Club Alianza Lima in Peru, where he played in over 130 matches and competed in the Copa Libertadores. Other cities on his itinerary include Club Atlético Talleres (Argentina) and Red Star Belgrade (Serbia).
Araujo has participated in 28 games for La Blanquirroja on the international scene since making his debut in 2014. He frequently appears with MLS players like Raul Ruidaz of Seattle Sounders FC, Miguel Tracuo of San Jose Earthquakes, and goalkeeper Pedro Gallese of Orlando City SC.
The MLS Secondary Transfer Window is active from July 5 through August 2. Only then will incoming signings be appropriately registered.
Portland is currently in 10th position (Western Conference) and barely outside the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs field as of Matchday 21. They rank in the bottom third of the league with 27 goals allowed.