Mikaël Silvestre joined the Portland Timbers just before the 2013 season, following a preseason trial that impressed both the team and the fans.
2012 Rank: N/A
Silvestre's first game with the Timbers--the first half in particular--was a match best forgotten. After he recovered from jet lag, he settled comfortably into his starting spot with the team and showed a level of maturity and technical ability the Timbers had never seen from one of their center backs before.
The center back helped the Timbers earn' first three wins of season, including their first road win at Sporting Kansas City, in which Silvestre played some heroic late-game defense while the team held on to a one-goal lead. Sadly, his season came to an untimely end when he tore his ACL in a scoreless draw with New England Revolution.
Obviously the big question that remains about Silvestre is how the 36-year-old will come back from his knee injury. Three of us apparently remain stubbornly optimistic about his chances. If his recovery is successful, he will probably play a significant role with the team next year. The Timbers likely won't want all the skill, experience, and money just sitting on the bench.