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Soccer MLS

Portland Timbers Would Add Experience, Strength By Signing Norberto Paparatto

Portland Timbers

Jamie Valdez – USA TODAY Sports

The Portland Timbers are looking to repeat the strategy of signing Argentinean players that worked in marvelous fashion for them last year.

After the addition of Diego Valeri – an attacking midfielder that led MLS in assists and was elected MLS’ Newcomer of the Year in 2013 – and Maximiliano Urruti gave the franchise dividends last season, the Timbers are ready to add more Argentinians to their roster. They are on the verge of adding Gaston Fernandez, and now they are looking at the South American country to strengthen their defensive line.

According to reports, Portland is looking to sign 30-year-old center Norberto Paparatto from Tigre, a top-tier club in Argentina that ended second in the 2012 Copa Sudamericana with the towering defender as one of the established names at the back. He is not the most-gifted player in terms of technique, but he can replace that with sacrifice, strength and aerial ability. Those traits should be enough to guarantee him a starting spot for the next season if the deal is completed.

Several sources indicate that the deal is close to being finalized, and the only thing pending is a medical examination that should be passed with no problems. If the move is sealed, the CONCACAF Champions League-bound club would have four Argentinians on their roster for the 2014 season.

The Timbers would be wise to complete the move for Paparatto as soon as possible. He is a coveted defender in South America and would be a great addition to Portland’s roster.

Juan Pablo Aravena is a sports writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @jparavenarant or add him to your network on Google