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Timbers make DP deal official for Polish striker Jaroslaw Niezgoda

Javier Hernandez says he joined LA Galaxy to win a championship, not to be Zlatan Ibrahimovic's replacement.

The Portland Timbers have signed Legia Warsaw forward Jaroslaw Niezgoda to a Designated Player deal, the MLS club announced on Thursday.

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"Jarek is an important addition to the club and we believe he has all the attributes to be successful in MLS," said Gavin Wilkinson, general manager and president of soccer for the Timbers, in a team release. "He has natural goal-scoring predatory instincts and the ability to score in many different ways. We look forward to getting him on the field."

ESPN had previously reported the Timbers' interest in the Polish striker, with a transfer fee reported to be around $3.7 million. Reports had indicated that Niezgoda's salary will be in the neighborhood of $750,000 per year, though bonuses could kick that number up higher.

Thursday's deal continues an active offseason for the Timbers. Portland has already signed winger Yimmi Chara -- brother of Timbers midfielder Diego -- from Brazilian side Atletico Mineiro.

The Timbers hope Niezgoda will provide a long-term solution at forward. The team signed Brian Fernandez in May of last season from Liga MX side Necaxa. While the Argentine had some early success, he had his contract terminated after entering the league's Substance and Behavioral Health program, and failing to comply with its terms.

Niezgoda, 24, has enjoyed a bounce-back season with Legia, scoring 14 goals in 18 league appearances, after missing most of the previous campaign due to a nerve issue in his back.

The forward broke into the professional ranks with Polish third tier side Wilsa Pulawy in 2012, and after scoring 24 goals in 67 league and cup appearances he was transferred to Legia in 2016.

A loan spell with Ruch Chorzow aided Niezgoda's transition into the Polish top flight, and with the exception of the injury riddled 2018-19 season has been a consistent scorer with Legia since then.

ESPN's Jeff Carlisle contributed to this report.

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