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Getting to Know the Timbers: Mamadou Danso

Mamadou Danso (D)

Previous team(s):

Strengths: Futty, as Danso is affectionately called, has been a mainstay in the back for the Timbers for the last two years. His tackling and anticipation are his biggest assets he brings to the Timbers. Futty is also very good in the air and can win a lot of headers both defensively and offensively. He seems to work well with others in the back and is constantly communicating with his fellow defenders. His presence on the defensive line helped the USL Timbers host the best defense in 2009 and second best in 2010.

Weaknesses: Futty is susceptible to a speedy forward as his overall speed and quickness leave a little to be desired. Also a by product of his aggressiveness is that he receives cards. Most of the time it is only yellow but there are times where he will receive a red. Sometimes the reason he has received a red is due to his two-footed tackles which are always very dangerous.

Analysis: Futty is a great addition to the Portland Timbers back line. His physical play will translate well from the USL to the MLS. We also may see a drop in yellow and red cards as the MLS officials tend to use the mantra "let them play". Look for Danso to be in the center back rotation and get his minutes and strike fear into opposing forwards who dare enter his domain. However don't be surprised if he leaves the game seeing red and the Timbers down to 10.
Misc: Futty actually played both forward and defender during his time in college. He scored 35 goals in 2 seasons, so if our forwards are not cutting it send him up top! Check out some highlights: vs the Vancouver Whitecaps (he is #98) and his highlights when signed.