The Portland Timbers have extended the contract of iconic midfielder and club captain Diego Chara.
Chara has played more MLS regular-season games (310) and minutes (27,203) than anyone else in Timbers history since joining as the club's first-ever Designated Player in 2011.
Despite reaching 35 years old, the Colombian is showing little signs of slowing down. Just last season, Chara performed 717 pressures on opposition players - at least 227 more than any teammate - while coming out second among Portland players for recoveries (218) and interceptions (55).
Chara - whose younger brother, Yimmi, also plays for the Timbers - has now put pen to paper on a contract that'll keep him at Providence Park through 2024.
“We are delighted to extend Diego’s contract and look forward to many more years of his quality performances that we have become so accustomed to,” Timbers general manager and president of soccer Gavin Wilkinson said in a release.
“The Timbers are incredibly fortunate to have Diego in this club and appreciate his immense contributions to this organization on and off the field. We also want to thank his incredible wife and their family for the countless sacrifices they have made in supporting Diego and the Portland Timbers through the years.”
Head coach Giovanni Savarese commented on the "immeasurable" effect Chara's leadership has on his side.
“The role that Diego Chara has in this team is immeasurable. He is our captain and leader, and we couldn’t be more excited to have him with us for the next three years,” Savarese said. “We’re incredibly thankful for his commitment and ongoing hard work to this team.”
With Chara's future tied down, the Timbers will continue to prepare for the start of their 2022 campaign, kicking off at home to 2021 Supporters' Shield winners New England Revolution on February 26.