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It's Official: Portland Timbers Sign Defender Jermaine Taylor

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John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

Two months after selecting him in this offseason's Re-entry Draft, the Portland Timbers have finally made the signing of Jamaican defender Jermaine Taylor official.

A veteran centerback with experience at fullback, Taylor immediately becomes the club's third center back behind last year's starting duo: Nat Borchers and Liam Ridgewell. Additionally, his flexibility on the back line, being able to step in at left back in a pinch, gives the Timbers plenty of options when constructing their roster for the U.S. Open Cup and CONCACAF Champions League matches in which they will need to make use of their depth.

Taylor has been a regular with the Jamaican Men's National Team and has been capped 83 times for the Reggae Boyz, including three appearances during Jamaica's run to the final of the 2015 Gold Cup. Taylor has appeared previously with fellow Timbers Alvas Powell and Michael Seaton for Jamaica.

While Taylor, listed at 5'10", is on the shorter side compared to most centerbacks that the Timbers have fielded in MLS, he is known for his decisive, physical play and ability to step up and win the ball. Notching 4.8 interceptions per game (according to WhoScored.com) -- more then Liam Ridgewell, 1.9, and Nat Borchers, 2.2, combined, Taylor is an aggressive player on the back line who will give the Timbers a slightly different look than we are used to.

The Timbers' press release:

TIMBERS SIGN DEFENDER JERMAINE TAYLOR
Jamaican international to join Portland for 2016 season 


PORTLAND, Ore. – The Portland Timbers today announced that the team has signed Jamaican international defender Jermaine Taylor. Per league and club policy, terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Portland acquired Taylor with the 20th overall pick in Stage Two of the MLS Re-Entry Draft on Dec. 17.

"Jermaine is an international-caliber player and MLS veteran defender who brings valuable experience to the group during a season that includes multiple competitions," said Gavin Wilkinson, general manager of the Timbers.


Taylor, 31, made 106 career appearances (101 starts) with the Houston Dynamo after joining the club in 2011. A five-year MLS veteran, the defender made 16 appearances (all starts) for the Dynamo in 2015 and previously helped the club register back-to-back Eastern Conference championships in 2011 and 2012 before joining the Timbers. 

"Jermaine’s MLS experience at Houston playing for trophies, along with his Jamaican senior national team pedigree will be extremely beneficial to the club," said Caleb Porter, head coach of the Timbers. "I like his physical tools and his ability to play center back and outside back, which he has done at the club and national team level. He also will be a great role model for some of our younger players."

At the international level, Taylor made his senior national team debut for Jamaica in 2004 after moving up through the U-17 and U-20 youth national team system. A presence in the back line for the Reggae Boyz, Taylor has earned 83 caps for Jamaica, including three appearances during the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup group stage. Taylor has been part of three Caribbean Cup-winning sides for Jamaica (2005, 2010, 2014) and appeared in nine matches during 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifying.

Taylor began his professional career at the age of 19 with Jamaican side Harbour View FC (2004-09) and competed in the 2008 CONCACAF Champions Cup, while also helping the club win a league title in 2007 before joining St. George’s SC in 2009. 

Jermaine Taylor
Position: Defender
Height: 5-10
Weight: 195
Born: Jan. 14, 1985, in Portland, Jamaica
Last Club: Houston Dynamo
College: n/a
Citizenship: Jamaica
Acquired: Selected in Stage Two of 2015 MLS Re-Entry Draft on Dec. 17, 2015; signed on Jan. 22, 2016