Friday, January 15, 2016

Making Moves - Portland Timbers Addition

With the MLS Cup in their trophy case, the Timbers aren't sitting idly by this offseason making three more big moves this week. Here's a rundown of who they brought in:

Zarek Valentin - Valentin, a former US Youth National Team member, was the fourth overall pick in the 2011 MLS SuperDraft. After parts of three seasons in MLS with Chivas USA and the Montreal Impact, Valentin moved overseas and spent three seasons with Bodø/Glimt of the Norwegian Tippeligaen. A versatile defender, Valentin provides additional depth along a back line that has already lost Jorge Villafaña, likely won't bring back Norberto Paparatto, and hasn't yet signed re-entry draft pick Jermaine Taylor. Valentin, who played for Timbers coach Caleb Porter at the University of Akron, may even be able to challenge Chris Klute for the starting left back spot.

Ned Grabavoy - A veteran of 12 MLS seasons, Grabavoy will help fill the void left by Will Johnson's departure, and brings a veteran presence to the Timbers midfield as well as their clubhouse. A two-time MLS Cup winner, Grabavoy joins Portland after spending 2015 with New York City FC. Grabavoy enjoyed his best statistical season with Real Salt Lake in 2013 when he had 5 goals and 5 assists in 32 appearances.

Jack McInerney - Despite scoring 38 regular season goals before his 24th birthday, Jack Mack can't seem to find a home. In less than two years he's gone from Philadelphia to Montreal to Columbus and now to the Timbers. A member of the U.S. Youth National Teams from 2008-2011, McInerney is the obvious replacement for the departed Maximiliano Urruti, and gives the Timbers another credible striking option to go alongside Fanendo Adi.

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