MLS- Toronto FC

MLS Ticker: Silvestre on trial with Timbers, Crew sign Glauber, and more


The Portland Timbers have added a number of experienced players this offseason under the guidance of new head coach Caleb Porter, and they might soon add another who has played at some of the biggest clubs in the world.

Timbers owner Merritt Paulson tweeted on Tuesday that former Manchester United and Arsenal defender Mikael Silvestre is set to begin a training stint with Portland. The 35-year-old Frenchman has been without a club since he and Werder Bremen parted ways at the end of the 2011-2012 campaign.

Aside from playing at two of the most historic clubs in England, Silvestre has also spent time with Inter Milan and French club Rennes in his career. He also represented France 40 times at the international level from 2001-2006.

Here are more notes from around the league:


Near the top of the Columbus Crew’s wish list this offseason was finding a partner for centerback Chad Marshall. The club found their man on Tuesday. The Crew announced Tuesday morning that they have signed Brazilian defender Glauber as a Discovery Signing. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but the 29-year-old centerback joins Columbus after having spent time at Manchester City, FC Nurnberg and, most recently, Rapid Bucharest of the Romania’s Liga 1.

“Gláuber is a world-class international defender who we feel will be a great complement to Chad Marshall, anchoring our central defense,” Crew president and general manager Mark McCullers said in a released statement. “This was a key priority to improve our team in the offseason and we are excited for him to join the club.”


If the Montreal Impact’s gamble in the recent MLS SuperDraft is going to pay off, it will have to be some time in the future. The Impact’s second-round draft pick, midfielder Paolo DelPiccolo, has signed a contract with German Bundesliga club Eintracht Frankfurt. While DelPiccolo has opted to start his professional career abroad, the Impact will maintain the Louisville product’s MLS rights.


It had been rumored for about a week already, but Pat Onstad has officially made the move from D.C. United to Toronto FC. TFC announced on Tuesday that Onstad, a former Canadian international, joined the club as Chief Scout and Manager of Football Partnerships. Onstad joins Toronto FC president and general manager Kevin Payne as former members of D.C. United to move to TFC this offseason.

“I had the pleasure of working with Pat at D.C. United and have great respect for him.  He’s meticulous, diligent, and he knows our league very well,” Payne said in a statement released by Toronto FC. “He’s a perfect fit for this role and will be a great asset for our club.”


Think the Timbers should sign Silvestre? How do you see Glauber faring with the Crew? Should DelPiccolo have signed with the Impact instead of Eintracht Frankfurt?

Share your thoughts below.

  • Zac

    Cue the “just what MLS needs: more retirement league players” chuckleheads. I, for one, am glad that MLS teams will extend trials to these players, regardless of their age.


    • Old School

      If he still has game, the right mentality and is fit, I see zero issues with these type of signings.

      If, if, if, though.


    • jonk

      I’m not impressed. When I think of Silvestre, all I see is him in an Arsenal kit getting repeatedly torched by Donovan during his first Everton loan spell.


      • jonk

        Whoops, I guess I need to retract my comment. I looked up that match, and it turns out it was Traore not Silvestre that LD abused.


      • Skifast!

        Well, maybe that vision can at last come to fruition if the Timbers sign Silvestre and Donovan comes back.


    • Steven

      I’d rather see MLS teams trial these players. It’ll give a nice wakeup call to the players who think they can waltz in and have a vacation for 9 months, ala Mattheus.


      • Gnarls

        Agreed. I think it’s better to get a first-hand look at a guy in the context of MLS, rather than relying solely on his resume. Plenty of MLS flops have had stellar international and club resumes.


      • The Imperative Voice

        In theory I like your idea but in practice many players of this stature can command pre-signing. They can probably only get this from Silvestre because he’s been out of soccer so long, and he’s probably desperate to get back in.

        I generally agree with the mentality, fitness, etc. comments, this is not a Qatari paycheck league. The weather can be harsh and the physical demands are high. He’s either up to it or not.


    • Tony in Quakeland

      MLS has gotten a lot more sophisticated n the attack, but the defending is still very naive. To me, bringing in players like Nesta and, to a much lesser extent, Silvestre, help the tactics become more sophisticated, even if they are not physically at the top anymore.


      • Skifast!

        Finally someone besides me who laments how poor defending remains in MLS, generally speaking. If the quality of defending really improves, I think it will greatly benefit the overall standard since it will force the technical and tactical aspects of attacking soccer to improve even more so.


  • Rob

    I like the Glauber signing. If Chad Marshall is in the form he was a couple years ago, and reports are he is in great shape after two ankle surgeries, than this could be one of the most beastly center back pairings in the league.


  • Frank

    I’m excited about Glauber. He’s still relatively young–one concern is why he had to leave the European top leagues.


    • The Imperative Voice

      Per Wikipedia, he played one game for City, off the bench, the last 6 minutes of the last game of the season. I think the beginning of his CV as well as his recent appearances for Bucharest (Toja was in the same league) earned him this deal, but he left the EPL because he wasn’t playing, to the point of being a cult figure on the order of EJ at Cardiff it sounds like. Who knows what they’re getting.


    • Alex

      I would by no means call 29 young. And what’s with the Crew president calling this guy world class? 6 minutes for Man City in 2009 does not a world class player make. Not saying he won’t do well, but let’s not use hyperbole.


  • Brendan

    Silvaestre should be better than what we have. Berhalter was thought to be old and slow, but I think he did a good job in the center of LA’s defense and he also is credited with helping to bring along some of their young defenders. So…if that is the result, how could we complain?


    • sagcat

      Well, were he coming off a stint where he just lit it up, playing years younger and showing he’s still worthy of top-flight clubs, he wouldn’t be on trial with a team that finished third to last in MLS, would he? We need to be realistic about what players we can get, and maybe that means an old, totally washed up guy who can mentor the other guys on proper positioning and technique.


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