The Portland Timbers have re-signed starting keeper Steve Clark today, bringing back the fan favorite for his third year with the club.
After joining the Timbers midway through the 2018 season, Clark was given a chance to take over the starting spot in a full-time capacity in 2019 after Jeff Attinella was forced to sit out the remainder of the season with an injured shoulder. With Attinella also making his return to the team this year after undergoing surgery on his shoulder, the Timbers should have a pair of starting-caliber keepers vying for the number one spot.
In 2019, Clark made 29 appearances for the Timbers across all competitions, including 24 regular season starts as well starting in goal for the Timbers’ lone playoff match. In that time Clark posted a 1.04 best goals against average, the second best in MLS, and saved 77.2% of the shots he faced, the fourth best in MLS.
The Timbers press release:
TIMBERS SIGN GOALKEEPER STEVE CLARK TO NEW CONTRACT
PORTLAND, Ore. – The Portland Timbers today announced that the club has signed goalkeeper Steve Clark to a new contract.
Acquired off waivers from D.C. United in 2018, Clark, 33, has appeared in 32 regular season matches (30 starts) for Portland over the past two seasons. In 2019, Clark started and played in 29 matches across all competitions, recording six shutouts and 89 saves. Clark finished the regular season ranked second in MLS in goals-against average (1.04) and fourth in save percentage (77.2).
“Re-signing Steve was a priority for the club this offseason and we are thrilled to have him back after his tremendous 2019 season where he showcased his qualities,” said Timbers general manager and president of soccer Gavin Wilkinson. “This new contract presents Steve with a well-deserved opportunity to continue to demonstrate his ability in MLS.”
Prior to arriving in Portland, Clark played for D.C. United (2017-18) and Columbus Crew SC (2014-16). During his tenure with Columbus, Clark appeared in 100 regular-season matches and logged 22 shutouts. Clark ranked in the top five in saves among MLS goalkeepers from 2014-16.
“When we brought Steve to Portland, we had no doubt that he would be important for our team. He was an impact player this past season and we feel excited to have him back ahead of the upcoming season,” said Giovanni Savarese, head coach of the Timbers. “We feel confident Steve’s experience and consistency will continue to be an asset for the team.”
Clark began his professional career in Denmark, playing for Danish first division side Hønefoss BK (2010-13), where he made 97 starts and recorded 28 shutouts. Additionally, Clark featured with Danish club AC Horsens during the club’s 2016-17 campaign, recording 17 starts across all competitions, while posting four shutouts.
Transaction: Portland Timbers sign goalkeeper Steve Clark to a new contract on Dec. 20, 2019.