BRIAN SCIARETTA - Wednesday, February 1, 2012
After playing in the fall with Hoffenheim's U-19 team, American Charles Renken is returning to MLS where he will join the Portland Timbers of MLS.

The Timbers confirmed the deal on their website on Tuesday night.

Renken, 18, has long been considered one the best naturally talented American youth prospects but the Zambian-born midfielder has struggled in recent years with three ACL injuries that have limited his time on the field.

Renken recently played for the US U-20/U-23 national teams at a combined camp in Duisburg, Germany in November 2011.

Renken signed with Hoffenheim in 2009 while in the middle of his recovery from ACL surgeries. He began playing for the club's U-19 team in early 2011.
Thursday February 9, 2012 7:39 pm
This is a good move. Portland knows the importance of investing in youth as seen from the signing of Adolfo "El Trencito" Valencia. Assuming both Renken and Valencia recover from their injuries and fulfill ther potential the Timbers will stand to be a force in the league for a long time. Not to mention cashing in on those nice transfer fees down the road. And worst case, they really didn't have to expend too much financially if it doesn't work out.
Thursday February 2, 2012 11:57 am
@jim Assuming he gets immediate playing time at portland. Hoffenheim reserves are much better for his development than the timbers. It seems like there should be more to this story, I get he has a history of bad injuries but the fact that Hoffenheim let him go for free does not seem like a good sign at all considering his potential.
Wednesday February 1, 2012 8:39 pm
This is a great acquisition for the Timbers. This kid is for real. I compare him to Nagbe but is far more talented. He should by all accounts be apart of the U-20 team this cycle.
Wednesday February 1, 2012 6:53 pm
Whatever the eurosnobs say, I think this is a good move for the kid.

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