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.