Defender Nat Borchers joined the Portland Timbers today from Real Salt Lake in exchange for an unknown quantity of allocation money.
Borchers, 34, has been a mainstay of the Real Salt Lake defense for the last seven years since returning to MLS from the Norwegian Tippeligaen. In that time, Real Salt Lake have given up an average of only 35 goals per year, including the 2011 season, in which they only allowed 20 goals over the course of their 30 game season.
By adding Borchers, the Timbers gain a proven competitor in MLS who could match up well with designated player Liam Ridgewell, giving him the freedom to roam and be more aggressive in his tackling and positioning.
The Timbers had consistent questions about their centerbacks throughout the 2014 season, with Pa Modou Kah, Norberto Paparatto, Futty Danso, Rauwshan McKenzie, and Danny O'Rourke all failing to truly secure a starting position in the center of the team's defense.
The Timbers' press release:
TIMBERS ACQUIRE DEFENDER NAT BORCHERS FROM REAL SALT LAKE IN EXCHANGE FOR ALLOCATION MONEY
PORTLAND, Ore. – The Portland Timbers have acquired defender Nat Borchers from Real Salt Lake in exchange for allocation money, it was announced today. Per league and club policy, terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Coming off an MLS career-high 32 appearances (all starts) in 2014 with Real Salt Lake, Borchers, 33, has appeared in 288 career matches and logged 25,657 minutes, in 10 MLS seasons. A 2010 MLS Best XI selection, Borchers helped guide RSL to seven straight postseason appearances, winning MLS Cup in 2009 and advancing to the MLS Cup final in 2013.
While with RSL, the center back appeared in 205 regular-season matches and 19 MLS Cup Playoffs games, as well as both legs of the 2010-11 CONCACAF Champions League final, scoring a goal in the first leg against Mexican club Monterrey. Borchers made 13 appearances in CONCACAF Champions League play for RSL during the 2010-11 and 2012-13 editions of the tournament.
Prior to joining Real Salt Lake, Borchers played two seasons with Odd Grenland (now known as Odds BK) in the Norwegian Tippeligaen, making 42 league appearances from 2006-07 before returning to MLS in 2008. Borchers began his career with the Colorado Rapids in 2003, starting in 22 matches during his rookie campaign.
At the international level, Borchers has earned three caps for the U.S. Men’s National Team since making his senior international debut on March 9, 2005, in a 3-0 friendly win against Colombia. Borchers’ most recent national team appearance came as a second-half substitute in a 1-0 friendly win against South Africa on Nov. 17, 2010.
Born: April 13, 1981, in Tucson, Ariz.
Last Club: Real Salt Lake
College: University of Denver
Citizenship: United States
Acquired: Acquired Dec. 8, 2014 from Real Salt Lake exchange for allocation money