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Official: Timbers sign goalkeeper Aljaz Ivacic

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Welcome to Portland!

Bennett Dewan

Update: Friday morning, the club officially announced the signing of Aljaz Ivacic, who will occupy an international roster spot.

From the press release:

“We are pleased to welcome Aljaž Ivačič to the Portland Timbers,” said Gavin Wilkinson, general manager and president of soccer for the Timbers. “It was a goal of ours to further strengthen this position during the offseason, and this move affords us the opportunity to add to an already strong group.”

Ivačič, 25, arrives in Portland after playing two seasons with NK Olimpija Ljubljana, helping the club win both the league and cup title during the 2017-18 season. During that span, Ivačič appeared in 55 matches across all competitions, posting a 0.88 goals-against average and 24 clean sheets.

“We are excited to add another solid goalkeeping option to our roster,” said Giovanni Savarese, head coach of the Timbers. “Aljaž is a player that has a good mindset and mentality, and we look forward to helping him continue to grow and develop with our club.”

During the 2018-19 season, Ivačič made 25 appearances across all competitions, including 18 appearances in league play for Olimpija, logging 1,620 minutes, while recording five clean sheets. In addition, Ivačič appeared in both legs of UEFA Champions League qualifying, recording a shutout in a 0-0 draw with Qarabağ FK, and also started five matches during Europa League qualifying. In 2017-18, Ivačič played in 25 matches for Olimpija, allowing just 12 goals and recording 14 clean sheets during that span. Ivačič also played matches on loan with NK Bela Krajina (2013-14) and NK Radomlje (2014-17) in the Druga Liga, appearing in 68 matches for the two clubs combined.

Jamie Goldberg of The Oregonian is reporting that the Portland Timbers have signed 25-year-old Slovenian keeper Aljaz Ivacic. According to the same report, the deal is for two years and a $150,000 dollar salary.

The Ljubljana, Slovenia, native had been playing for NK Olimpija Ljubljana in the Slovenian PrvaLiga. He is also a member of the Slovenian National Team. In 18 matches this season, he’s allowed 27 goals and has had five clean sheets, according to Transfer Market. In 2017, he made 58 appearances and recorded 24 clean sheets.

This signing will add both to the depth and options at goalkeeper for coach Giovanni Savarese. Jeff Attinella is slated to keep his number one position and Steve Clark, who recently re-signed, will be his backup. Third keeper Kendall McIntosh will, according to Jamie G, go out on loan this season. This could mean that Ivacic will start the season with the Timbers USL affiliate T2.