Andy Polo domestic violence allegations raise numerous questions about Timbers, MLS response

PORTLAND, OREGON - MAY 09: Andy Polo #7 of Portland Timbers reacts in the second half against the Seattle Sounders at Providence Park on May 09, 2021 in Portland, Oregon. (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)
By Sam Stejskal Feb 11, 2022
The Portland Timbers likely thought they were diffusing a tense situation when the team announced on Thursday that it had terminated the contract of midfielder Andy Polo one day after he was suspended by MLS following allegations of domestic violence made by his ex-partner Genessis Alarcón. 

In reality, the club’s statement and actions created additional questions. These are important questions that demand answers, but have yet to be addressed by either the league or the Timbers organization, which was rocked in October by allegations, first reported by The Athletic, from former Portland Thorns players Mana Shim and Sinead Farrelly that former head coach Paul Riley had sexually coerced them when he led the NWSL team in 2014 and 2015.

Before getting into the significant and numerous unknowns that league and club should clarify about their handling of this case, it’s important to start with what’s available via the public record. 

According to a police report obtained via public records request by The Athletic, a friend of Alarcón’s called 911 dispatchers the morning of May 23, 2021 and told them that Alarcón’s “husband was hitting her.” Washington County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to the scene. Polo, who was wearing a full immobilization cast on his leg and using crutches after suffering an injury in a game against the LA Galaxy the day before, answered the door. The deputies found Alarcón and the couple’s children upstairs.