Internet Sleuthing Points to Paparatto Norberto as the Timbers New Centerback

Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports

The Portland Timbers have made it their stated goal this off-season to bring in a tall, top class defender and they may have just found their man in 30 year-old Argentinian center-back Paparatto Norberto. Norberto's name was turned up on twitter yesterday (by @ShebainPDX, of course) and drew a response from Merritt Paulson that was deleted shortly afterward.

Listed at 6'4", Norberto appears to be a commanding defender with excellent foot-skills and the ability to shut down attackers with a well timed tackle.

An eight year veteran of the Argentine Primera Division, Norberto has been playing with Tigre, the new employers of Sebastian Rincon, since 2007. Interestingly, he started his stretch in the Argentinian top flight with Diego Valeri as both were with Lanus in 2005 and 2006. Norberto did not have a significant role with Lanus, only playing with the twice during his time there, while Valeri was only a young player at the time, still working his way into the first team.

Although his time as Lanus was not particularly productive, Norberto seems to have flourished at Tigre where he has become the team's captain. Tigre has not been covered in glory in recent years; generally a mid-table club in the Primera Division, they finished the 2013 Torneo Inicial in 12th place, having allowed 21 goals (11th best in the league).

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