The Portland Timbers made a big change at the back today, bringing on board Ghanaian National Team keeper Adam Larsen Kwarasey. A part of Ghana's 2014 World Cup side, Kwarasey comes to the Timbers on a free transfer after playing most recently with Norwegian side Stromgotset.
A player with a number of plaudits in recent years, most notably winning the Tippeligaen's Goalkeeper of the Year award for the 2013 season, Kwarasey will instantly be a favorite for the Timbers' starting keeper spot; a position helf for the last two and a half season by Donovan Ricketts.
Calling the move a "long-term contract" the Timbers appear to be setting up Kwarasey as the Timbers' keeper of the future.
Kwarasey's move to Portland has been rumored for the last several weeks since word leaked out of Norway that he had signed with the Timbers.
The Timbers' press release:
TIMBERS SIGN GHANA WORLD CUP GOALKEEPER ADAM LARSEN KWARASEY
Norwegian Tippeligaen Goalkeeper of the Year in 2013, 26-year-old Kwarasey joins Portland following successful career with Strømsgodset
PORTLAND, Ore. – The Portland Timbers have signed Ghanaian international goalkeeper Adam Larsen Kwarasey to a long-term contract, it was announced today. He will be added to the Timbers’ roster pending the receipt of his International Transfer Certificate (ITC) and P-1 visa. Per league and club policy, terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Kwarasey, 26, has made 23 appearances for the Ghana National Team since earning his debut for the Black Stars on Sept. 2, 2011, in a 2-0 win against Swaziland during qualification for the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations. The Norwegian goalkeeper helped guide Ghana to the 2014 FIFA World Cup, starting and playing 90 minutes in a 2-1 loss against the United States in the opening match of Group D play on June 16in Natal, Brazil. Kwarasey featured for Ghana at the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations, appearing in all six matches during the tournament. He also registered back-to-back shutouts against Malawi to help the Black Stars qualify for the 2013 edition of the tournament. Prior to joining the Ghana National Team, the Oslo native made one appearance for the Norway Under-21 National Team in 2008.
Beginning his professional career with Norwegian Tippeligaen side Strømsgodset in 2007, Kwarasey helped captain the club to its second-ever league championship in 2013, earning the league’s Goalkeeper of the Year honors after the season. Over an eight-year career with Strømsgodset, Kwarasey made 154 league appearances and helped the club to a top-four league finish in each of his final three seasons while also serving as the team’s captain in 2013 and 2014. Kwarasey took over first-choice goalkeeper duties for Strømsgodset in 2010 as the side won the 2010 Norwegian Football Cup competition.
Kwarasey earned valuable experience captaining Strømsgodset to the third qualifying round of the 2011-12 and 2013-14 UEFA Europa League tournament and the second qualifying round of the 2014-15 UEFA Champions League tournament. During his career with Strømsgodset, Kwarasey logged five appearances in UEFA Europa League qualification play and two matches in UEFA Champions League qualification.
Kwarasey will occupy an international slot on the Timbers roster.
Adam Larsen Kwarasey
Born: Dec. 12, 1987, in Oslo, Norway
Last Club: Strømsgodset (Norway)
Acquired: Signed on Dec. 8, 2014