The Portland Timbers took an important step towards rounding out their roster Wednesday, announcing the signing of veteran defender Mikaël Silvestre.
The Seattle Sounders, who also looked at Silvestre, held the rights of first refusal for the former France international, and Portland sent a first-round pick in the 2014 Supplemental Draft and a conditional 2015 draft pick to their rivals in exchange for the opportunity to land their man.
"Mikaël will bring a tremendous amount of experience and a presence on the field and in the locker room,” Timbers head coach Caleb Porter said in a statement. “He is a quality player on both sides of the ball and his impact will certainly go a long way in helping to solidify our backline. Mikaël made a very positive impression on the players and our coaching staff during his two-week trial and we are very excited to welcome him to the Timbers organization.”
The 35-year-old Silvestre brings with him extensive experience at the highest levels of the game, most of it with Manchester United, where he played for nine seasons. He made 361 appearances across all competitions for the English powerhouse, claiming five Premier League titles and the 2007-08 UEFA Champions League crown in the process. The player also boasts experience at Inter Milan and Arsenal on his resume.
Silvestre also appeared 40 times and scored twice for France at the senior international level, participating in two World Cups, a European Championship and winning two Confederations Cup titles.