Portland Timbers Re-sign Diego Chara and Darlington Nagbe

The reigning MLS champs shored up their midfield by resigning two key players in Diego Chara and Darlington Nagbe. The club announced that extensions were reached using Targeted Allocation Money, a new facet in the MLS’s infinitely complex salary cap.

In a nutshell, Targeted Allocation Money (TAM) allows teams to pay players in excess of the league’s $457,500 maximum salary without making them Designated Players – the three players allotted per team whose salaries (that dwarf their teammates’ salaries) don’t count towards the $3.66 million cap beyond the first $457,500.

Each MLS team received $800,000 in TAM for the 2016 season.

Longtime Timbers, the duo are two of Portland’s most important players. Both have been with the club since its inaugural season in 2011.

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Diego Chara, 29, signed extension to remain with Timbers

Chara was voted both Players’ Player of the Year and Supporters’ Player of the Year in 2015 and is the all-time leader in minutes played for the Timbers. What a guy.

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Nagbe, 25, has started 149 games for the Timbers in his first 5 years

Nagbe is also a key cog in Portland’s machine. He played every minute of the playoffs during Portland’s 2015 title run and delivered the winning assist in their 2-1 victory over the Columbus Crew.

Chara and Nagbe will play a big part for the young Timbers as they seek to defend their title.