We all knew player signings were going to be announced sometime in the near future based on this tweet from Merritt:
I sense...more player signings. #justahunch— Merritt Paulson (@MerrittPaulson) February 19, 2013
Based on the plural usage of signings one could make some educated guesses as to who that would be. Namely Michael Nanchoff and possible Mikael Silvestre. According to Britain's Sky Sports we could move Silvestre from educated guess to almost guaranteed to sign.
With the signing Portland are placing their hopes in Silvestre's experience and skills to help shore up a backline that looked like it might end up leaking goals like it did last season. As an example of the effect Silvestre has you would just have to compare how well the team did defensively in Tuscon compare to the first game of their home tournament. With Silvestre in defense the Portland Timbers gave up zero goals in the last four games while the team was in Tucson and in the one game they played without him they gave up 3 goals.
Of course those stats are misleading as the teams Portland were playing in Tucson were still playing trialists and draft picks. San Jose fielded a stronger team and one that might be considered a starting line-up at some point during the season.
By giving him a 2 year deal it signals that Portland might be looking to Dylan Tucker-Gangnes and Andrew Jean Baptiste as their future and hope they can learn from Silvestre.
Is Silvestre worth the 2 year contract, especially at his advanced age? Tell us what you think.
Of course literally 3 mins before I hit post Merritt Paulson throws up these two tweets:
Barring visa hiccups, we've signed M. Silvestre.Will provide terrific leadership & had great chemistry w players/coaches during stay with us— Merritt Paulson (@MerrittPaulson) February 19, 2013
Welcome to the Rose City, @iammsilvestre!We look forward to getting you and your family here soon— Merritt Paulson (@MerrittPaulson) February 19, 2013