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Timbers use TAM to sign defender Larrys Mabiala

The Portland Timbers need defensive help, and it appears they’ve found their reinforcement.

The Timbers  announced the signing of Congolese central defender Larrys Mabiala on Monday, using Targeted Allocation Money to secure the services of the former Paris Saint Germain defender.

Mabiala spent the last six seasons in the Turkish top flight after previously playing at PSG, most recently with Kayserispor. The 29-year-old has nine games with the Congolese national team, most recently in the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations.

The Timbers have been short on defense all season long thanks to injuries to the team’s top two defenders. Captain Liam Ridgewell has only played nine games all season and offseason signing Gbenga Arokoyo ruptured his Achilles tendon in preseason.

“This has been a positional need since losing Gbenga Arokoyo to an injury and while it took longer than we would have liked, we are delighted to add a proven central defender with the right profile to help the team,” general manager Gavin WIlkinson said. “We are pleased to welcome Larrys to Portland and look forward to his contributions to the club.”

He expects to make an immediate impact on the Timbers back line. Head coach Caleb Porter praised his physical presence and leadership.

“Larrys Mabiala is a player that will bring a strong, physical presence to our team. His experience and leadership will be key and we expect him to make an immediate impact once he is fully transitioned.”

Mabiala will join the Timbers in July, when the MLS summer transfer window opens, pending the receipt of his international transfer certificate.


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