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Report: Portland Timbers Sign Center-back Larrys Mabiala

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Congo DR v Mali - 2013 Africa Cup of Nations: Group B
DURBAN, SOUTH AFRICA - JANUARY 28, Larrys Mabiala Destin of DR Congo and Adama Tamboura of Mali during the 2013 Orange African Cup of Nations match between DR Congo and Mali from Moses Mabhida Stadium on January 28, 2013 in Durban, South Africa.
Photo by Anesh Debiky / Gallo Images/Getty Images

The Oregonian is reporting that the Timbers have signed center-back Larrys Mabiala from Kayserispor in Turkey. The 29 year-old defender should join the Timbers in next month but won’t be able to take the pitch until July when the transfer window opens. The Timbers would have signed him during the primary window in March, but couldn’t get a deal done because his Turkish side Kayserispor were knee deep in a relegation battle.

The center-back joined Paris Saint-Germain as a 14 year-old and signed his first pro contract in 2006. He’d make just two appearances that season, and would be sent out on loan to Plymouth Argyle in August of 2007. A long term knee injury would take up most of his time at Argyle before being returned PSG where the loan was eventually canceled. In 2009 he would be transferred to OGC Nice.

Two and half years down the road and he found himself in Turkey with Karabukspor. He would hit the century mark in appearances in three years with the club. In August of 2015 he would make the move to Kayserispor.

There he would take the captain's arm band.

This season he made 31 appearances across all competitions. Scoring three goals and picked up 9 yellows on the season. Mabiala averaged almost 5 clearances a match and averaged around 3 interceptions as well. He started every match this season for Kayserispor. Born in France he would play for the French U-21’s, though when it came down to it he would play for the Democratic Republic Of the Congo.

He’s been capped 11 times.

His arrival has been anticipated since the primary window came and went. I hate to say it, but he’s going to be coming into a situation where there are going to be a lot of expectations on him to help shore up a shaky backline. So far this season between less than stellar goalkeeping at times and backline that has been a source of problems, the Timbers have let in 21 goals, in just 13 matches.

Is he the end all be all? Absolutely not, but it’s a start.

We just have to bide our time between now and July 1st. The stretch between now and then includes playing the Sounders twice, and four matches on the road. Where it hasn’t been easy pickens away from the friendly confines of Providence Park.