Major League Soccer

MLS to fine Portland Timbers over Andy Polo case

Lizzy Becherano
Portland Timbers address the ongoing Andy Polo situation.
Portland Timbers address the ongoing Andy Polo situation. / Soobum Im/GettyImages

An independent investigation on behalf of Major League Soccer concluded that the Portland Timbers did not offer financial inducements or influence Genessis Alarcón, the estranged wife of former midfielder Andy Polo, over whether to press charges after the alleged instance of domestic violence.

The case also stated that the Timbers, and their failure to report the incident to the league office, as required by MLS constitution, was due to lack of knowledge about the rules. The document states it was not intended as a cover-up. 

The league will still fine the Western Conference team $25,000 for failure to follow rules and report the situation. 

MLS released their decision in a statement:

The investigators concluded that the Timbers’ offer to assist Genessis Alarcon, Mr. Polo’s former domestic partner, and her children was not intended to induce, and did not induce, Ms. Alarcon to refrain from pursuing criminal charges against Mr. Polo. The report also concluded that while the Timbers should have reported the May 23, 2021 incident to MLS, there was no evidence that the Timbers attempted to hide or conceal the incident.

Based on these conclusions, MLS has fined the Portland Timbers $25,000 for the club’s failure to promptly and appropriately report the incident. Although the investigation found no evidence that the Timbers organization influenced Ms. Alarcon’s decision to press charges and that they did not attempt to conceal the incident, prompt reporting is critical to League oversight, addressing potential misconduct, and ensuring that players and their families are referred to appropriate resources, including potentially the League’s Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health Program.

MLS takes allegations of domestic violence extremely seriously and will not tolerate such behavior in our League.

Funds collected from the Portland Timbers fine will be donated by MLS WORKS, the League’s social responsibility platform, to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

At the moment, Polo is not facing criminal charges over the incident, but he and Peregrine Sports LLC, the parent company of the Timbers, have been listed as co-defendants in a domestic violence lawsuit filed by Alarcón in Oregon State Court. Alarcón cited claims of assault, battery and negligence by Polo and negligence by Peregrine Sports and the Timbers. 

The team also released a statement, acknowledging and accepting the findings of the independent review done by Major League Soccer. The Timbers, however, did not address the ongoing court case.