Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports
It's clear that the Portland Timbers were far better defensively with Silvestre in camp, but will they be the ones who end up with him?
Yesterday saw the Portland Timbers' first major game, in front of a home audience, without Mikael Silvestre since preseason began. While things were going very well in the final third, the defensive backline was downright woeful at times. At this point it's painfully clear that a veteran centerback defender is needed and that Silvestre would be the ideal candidate for the position.
Unfortunately, given what we know so far, the actual likelihood of him being signed is still murky. After all, the Portland Timbers can't just negotiate with him, but they must also negotiate with the Seattle Sounders because they own his MLS rights. I opined about this a few days ago.
Still, according to some sources over the weekend, it appears that something will happen with the player very soon. The BBC's Shamoon Hafez took to Twitter to suggest that a decision would be made within two days... that was three days ago:
Decision by former #MUFC man Mikael Silvestre to be made in next 2 days. Says he will sign for Portland Timber or Seattle Sounders in MLS.— Shamoon Hafez (@ShamoonHafez) February 15, 2013
Of course just because we haven't heard anything today doesn't mean it's not happening. There are a number of reasons why an announcement might not have been made yet like, for example, the fact that MLS needs to approve all signings and press releases, both of which can be delayed. Additionally, as stated above, the negotiations with Silvestre could be done, but Seattle could want something more. Obviously, they would know that Silvestre would bolster the Timbers considerably and probably have little inclination to see them get stronger without considerable gain.
The good news in all this is that OregonLives's Geoffrey C. Arnold did report on Twitter yesterday that the Timbers were making progress:
Portland in the lead to sign Mikeal Silvestre.#RCTID— Geoffrey C. Arnold (@geoffreyCarnold) February 17, 2013
So when will we hear something? Soon, hopefully. Maybe 10 minutes after this article goes live, maybe later this week. If the worst should come to pass, we could hear nothing directly from any of the involved parties, but rather Silvestre heading back home to England or somewhere else.
Bottom line, there's definitely movement happening with regards to signing Silvestre, but who he ultimately ends up with? Completely unknown at this point. Here's hoping there's an announcement made soon.
What would you give to have Silvestre join the Timbers? What if the Seattle Sounders sign him instead?