Special from SBNation:
Looking to shore up a position that has seemed to be in flux throughout their MLS existence, the Portland Timbers acquired Kosuke Kimura from the Colorado Rapids in exchange for an undisclosed amount of allocation money and an international roster spot on Thursday.
Kimura has been a key contributor for the Rapids for most of the past four seasons, logging four goals and eight assists during that time. He had started 12 games this year, but has not played in any of the past three.
The Timbers have started four different players at right back this season, with Jack Jewsbury most recently taking over the position. Jewsbury has played well at times, but is also out of position as a full back. Kimura should assume the fulltime starting role relatively quickly.
The Rapids seem to be hinting as this being part of a larger series of moves.
"This is a move that gives us flexibility as we work with our roster and prepare for the rest of the season and beyond," Rapids Technical Director Paul Bravo said in a team release. "This was an incredibly difficult decision for us, considering the wonderful service Kosuke has given us both on and off the field since he arrived here in 2007. He is a class act and we wish him success in Portland."
Press Release after the Jump.
The Portland Timbers have acquired defender Kosuke Kimura from the Colorado Rapids in exchange for allocation money and an international slot through the end of the year, it was announced today. Timbers general manager Gavin Wilkinson made the announcement.
Kimura, 28, played six seasons for the Rapids (2007-12), appearing in 117 matches and recording four goals and eight assists. He was a key part of the Colorado squad that captured the 2010 MLS Cup and helped the club make postseason appearances in back-to-back seasons in 2010-11. Kimura was drafted by Colorado in the third round (35th overall) in the 2007 MLS Supplemental Draft.
A native of Kanagawa, Japan, Kimura played in 12 regular-season games for the Rapids in 2012, recording a goal and two assists. Last season, he started all 34 regular-season matches for Colorado, helping the club earn a consecutive MLS Cup playoff berth. Kimura also made three appearances in the 2011-12 CONCACAF Champions League for the Rapids.
During the Rapids' MLS Cup-winning campaign in 2010, Kimura logged a career-best three assists during the regular season and scored the game-winning goal in the conference final to help Colorado defeat the San Jose Earthquakes and advance to the MLS Cup final. He was also recognized for his work off the field during the 2010 season, receiving the club's Humanitarian of the Year award.
Kimura had a breakthrough season in 2008, and backed it up with two goals and two assists over 26 games during the 2009 MLS season. When drafted by the Rapids in 2007, he became the first Japanese player in MLS.
Kimura played collegiately at Western Illinois University, where he appeared in 79 games (75 starts) and totaled five goals and 14 assists. He was a three-time All-Mid-Continental Conference selection and helped the Leathernecks win three consecutive Mid-Continental Conference titles from 2004-06. In Kimura's four years at Western Illinois, the team compiled a record of 43-33-7, the second-best, four-year class record in school history.
Kimura will not occupy an international slot on the Timbers roster.