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Timbers add Kah for defensive insurance as injuries mount

PaModouKahRodaJC (Scanpix_EPA_Marcel Van Hoorn)


Of the seven center defenders that the Portland Timbers had on opening day, just four remain, and two of those have never played an Major League Soccer game.

Whether the loss of Mikael Silvestre on Thursday night accelerated the signing process or not, the Timbers announced on Friday the signing of former Norway international defender Pa Modou Kah. The 32-year-old Gambia native most recently played in Saudi Arabia for Al-Wehda FC, where he played ten matches.

“Kah is a top-level player and will bring a wealth of experience as a professional, playing in some of the top leagues around the world,” Timbers manager Caleb Porter told the club’s website. “We expect Kah to step into the backline and make an immediate impact in our club.”

As previously reported by SBI, the Timbers were searching for an international defender after the loss of David Horst to injury and Hanyer Mosquera to personal issues. After the Silvestre injury, the Timbers were left with just Mamadou “Futty” Danso and 20-year-old Andrew Jean-Baptiste as first team regulars, while youngsters Dylan Tucker-Gangnes and Mobi Fehr would be the backups, despite having no MLS experience.

Kah won 10 caps and scored one goal for Norway between 2001-2008, where he moved with his family as an eight-year-old. He is best remembered for appearing over 200 times for Roda JC in the Eredivisie between 2004-2011. He will be added to the Timbers roster pending the receipt of his International Transfer Certificate (ITC) and P-1 visa.

What do you make of this transfer? Do you feel this is a good signing? Do you expect Portland to sign anyone else?


  1. I remarked that the pitch just reached up and grabbed him about the previous Portland cb who went down. Didnt Sylvestre go down in the same spot? And yet Mls has a piece up on their web site about the wonders of artificial turf.

    • Your are grasping at straws and creating a non reality. Injuries happen especially to 35 yr olds who put their body in awkward positions attempting half a bicycle.

    • A 35 year old center back attempted to juggle a loose ball and perform an off balance overhead kick, I don’t think the turf was the problem.

  2. IIRC, Kah’s contract only goes through the end of the season. And if he was a money mercenary, he’d not have signed it; there’s no way he’s being paid all that much money.

    I think a defensive corps of Danso, Silvestre, AJB and Horst isn’t that bad. Yeah, it’s not that good, either, but I would have been happy with it. It’s not impossible to think that all four will be back next year. Maybe not the year after, but if I’m Porter and Wilkinson, I’m happy to sign a veteran defender to a one-year contract. I don’t feel compelled to go out and sign another long-term prospect right now. Do that next winter.

    • AJB is nowhere near ready to be a starting CB on a good MLS team. He is fine if you are at the foot of the table and willing to lose some games to give him experience. If he is anything more than a bench player this year Portland is in trouble.

  3. regardless if he is a good fit or not, Portland needs 1-2 other starting defenders.

    they certainly play like a playoff team, but on paper i wouldn’t bet a dollar on them.

  4. Yeah i know what you mean. Why not go and get a south american…. now we’re recruiting from the saudi league? I cant see this guys finishing out the season.

    • A 32 year old Norway International center back is a good catch. he will own the spot in a month. As center backs go he could be a decent player into his mid 30’s. I imagine Portland are still looking for another CB to replace Silvestre.

  5. I think it’s a bit disappointing. I will reserve judgement until I see him but a player that is 32 and is coming from the Saudi Arabian league does not get me excited. Surely someone from the Championship would be willing to come to Portland.

    • YP Lee joined the whitecaps from Al-Hilal at 34. and hes done pretty well. though he probably was a better player compared to Kah.

    • The middle eastern locales filling the back end of his CV suggest he’s a paycheck mercenary.

      Lee had a much more impressive front end to his CV before he cashed in.


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