MLS- Real Salt Lake

MLS Notes: Silvestre signs with Timbers, Houston acquires Andrew Driver and more


Mikaël Silvestre’s tour of training stints around Cascadia is over, as the Portland Timbers confirmed Wednesday the club has signed the 35-year-old centerback to a contract.

“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.”

Silvestre has competed in several of the top leagues around the world with stints in Ligue 1 in France, Serie A in Italy, the Premier League in England and the Bundesliga in Germany.  The defender is a legend at Old Trafford, appearing in 249 games for Manchester United between 1999 and 2008.  The French international also appeared in 40 games for his country before retiring from international competition in 2006.

Here are some more MLS stories to catch you up on all the pre-season activity around the league:


The Houston Dynamo announced Wednesday the club has acquired Heart of Midlothian winger Andrew Driver on a loan deal.

Driver has made 168 appearances, scoring 19 goals over seven seasons at Hearts, and comes to Houston entering in the prime of his career at 25-years-old.

“Andrew is good at taking people on, he crosses a good ball and can take set pieces,” said Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear. “He is a hard-working player and I think he will definitely fit in with the team. He has a good attitude on the field and is versatile. He can play on the left or right side of midfield.”

The English international adds welcome depth to a team which plays on three fronts this season.


FC Dallas president and CEO Doug Quinn has stepped down from his position, the club announced Wednesday.

“After much consideration, I have decided to resign from FC Dallas to spend more time with my two beautiful daughters,” Quinn said in a statement. “I will be forever grateful to Clark and the Hunt family for giving me an opportunity to lead this great franchise, and I sincerely appreciate the hard work and dedication shown every day by the FC Dallas family.”

Quinn had spent the last three months on a personal leave of absence, citing the need to spend time with his family after he was arrested on allegations of assault following an altercation with his wife in a New York City hotel room.  The now former FC Dallas president spent the last three years with the club after taking over in 2010.


The New York Red Bulls have acquired Johnny Steele, signing the midfielder after trading a conditional supplemental draft pick to Real Salt Lake for the player’s rights.

“Jonny is a player who our coaching staff is very familiar with and believe will provide depth in our midfield,” said Red Bulls Sporting Director Andy Roxburgh. “We are pleased to have agreed to a contract with Jonny and look forward to his contribution this season.”

The 27-year-old comes to New York after appearing in 28 games for RSL last season and scoring two goals.

  • Jay

    While the Redbulls front office still leaves me wondering sometimes their player moves this off season have been really good and this is another solid move to add depth.


    • The Imperative Voice

      The name alone merits some credit: “We just went out and signed Johnny Steele,” has a certain ooomph even if the player with that comic book name is just OK.


    • Tony in Quakeland

      The biggest problem with MLS from a tactical point of view is how naive the defending is. Typically it is about beating guess into submission or out running them. (Attacking has gotten much more interesting, especially among a handful of teams.) I thought Montreal bringing in Nesta last year introduced sophistication that would help educate MLS defenses across the league. I see this as a similar move. So while he is an older player, I like the tactical intelligence he promises to bring a young team. I think it’s a great move.


      • ed - houston

        I am a big fan of Nesta. He did bring “sophistication” to MLS but is also a step too slow.


      • Al17

        Tony, well put. I see it as only helping their backline address an immediate need and helping educate them. Defending in MLS is lacking from the top level perspective and IMO more to do with the thought process than actual ability. Physically, defenders in MLS are good but on the RAW side. The thought process is lacking but IMO it’s an experience thing. It’s what Timbers will get with Silvestre.

        Frédéric Piquionne is also on trial with them and if he can return anywhere close to the form he had when he was at St. Etienne a few years ago, Portland will score quite a few goals. I always thought the worst move he made from a playing perspective was going to the EPL from France. Spain would have been a better place for him.


    • EasyE

      Guy was horrific the past few years, esp at Arsenal. Can’t seem him doing to well but I’m no expert.


      • Tony in Quakeland

        That may be how this winds up. But I am intriqued about the chance to force the learning curve on MLS defending. Who knows how it will work out.

        As for Nesta, I didn’t see a lot of him, but I saw something a different approach than the usual MLS defender. Maybe these guys will stick around and coach – that might be the best response


      • fischy

        He was horrific…in the EPL? May I point out that the worst defender in the EPL would probably be in the running for the All-Star team if he played in MLS?


  • Don Pelayo

    Wow. Two great signings. While Driver hasn’t lived up to his potential, he is still an exciting young player. However, he is a left-sided player, so I’d be interested to see how he fits into the Houston system with Davis.


    • The Imperative Voice

      We’ll see how he does, he’s apparently had knee (2 ops) and thigh injuries and the Scotsman paper says he missed like 18 months total.

      Kinnear may be claiming he’s ambi-footed but if you read the press he says he’s much more comfortable on the left.


    • Hogatroge

      Injuries played a large part in “not living up to his potential.”

      Houston has squeezed a decent amount of blood from stones such as Stu Holden, Calen Carr, Geoff Cameron, Mac Kandji, and other players who have struggled with injuries.


      • Josh D

        Good guess. As a DC fan, I am not looking forward to his antics. He does not seem like an Olsen signing who values order and hardwork over flair and chaos.

        Not sure who Chivas have that we’d want.


  • Michael F. SBI Mafia Original

    I saw Silvestre play a few games at Arsenal as well and he was two steps behind. As a Man U fan you hate to see an legend start to fade but it happens to everyone. Seeing how he fits in and competes may be a good indication of where MLS is in terms of a competitive league. Just a thought.


      • Michael F. SBI Mafia Original

        Yes. He played 249 games for United. He is loved by the Reds Faithful.


      • Al17

        LOL…I was thinking the same. Good player in his prime but not even in the same galaxy as “Legend”…WTF


  • gray3620

    I am excited by the Dynamo roster for this campaign. They finally acquired some speed up front and I expect big things from Johnson. He and Bruin combind with Cummings should be formidable. Seems like every player acquired by the Orange has been plaged with injuries.Still they recover like Carr, who unfortunately is injured again., I am intrigued by Driver and what he can do. If he can deliver crosses from the left side of the pitch, the Orange have done themelves proud. Can’t waitfor the season to start.


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