PORTLAND, Ore. — The Portland Timbers have terminated midfielder Andy Polo after Major League Soccer announced it was investigating allegations of domestic violence leveled against him, the club announced Wednesday.
Polo's former partner, Genesis Alarcon, alleged on Peruvian television that Polo, 27, was physically and emotionally abusive to both her and their children.
The Timbers had already suspended Polo on Tuesday after news of Alarcon's allegations broke, ESPN reported, removing him from all team activities during the MLS investigation.
The league followed suit on Wednesday and said that Polo is “prohibited from engaging in all team activities” pending the outcome of the investigation.
The Timbers were previously aware of a dispute between Polo and his partner on May 23 of last year, which resulted in the Washington County Sheriff's Office citing him for harassment, the club said on Wednesday, but the citation was not subsequently pursued by the victim or the prosecutor's office.
According to the police report, Alarcon had messaged a friend that her husband, Polo, was hitting her. Her friend called the sheriff's office and deputies responded to Polo and Alarcon's home.
Through a translator, Alarcon told the deputies that Polo was the father of her two children, but that they'd been separated and sleeping in separate beds the past three years. She said they had been arguing the past two days, and at one point Polo grabbed her wrist and scratched it.
Investigators said Alarcon had an audio recording of the incident that included arguing and a "loud bang and rustling sound." They said a female voice yelled out and a child was screaming and crying in the background.
"We deeply regret not suspending Polo immediately, especially considering the troubling new details of abuse that surfaced this week," the club said in a statement. "It was a failure on our part, and one that will never happen again."
Hours after his contract was terminated, Polo wrote a post on Instagram disputing his ex's allegations of abuse.
The statement, which is written in Spanish, says in part that the allegations are unsubstantiated, and that the TV program Alacron spoke on has not tried to communicate with him, or corroborate his version of the story, and it has impacted his image and name.
He said the allegations are part of a strategy by the mother of his children to demand 60% of his income received as a soccer player
Polo joined the Timbers in 2018. He missed most of the 2021 season due to an injury, but had been in preseason training camp with the Timbers this year since Jan. 18, according to ESPN.