The Portland Timbers had a pretty terrible season in the MLS last year. Both in goals scored and goals conceded, their statistics dropped in the club’s second year of existence and led them to a 8th place finish in the Western Conference for 3rd worst in the entire MLS.
Largely, the blame fell upon Scottish striker Kris Boyd, and the club wisely parted ways with him after he managed just 7 goals in 26 matches, a rather poor return for such a highly touted striker. So with the club expected to bring in new exciting players they signed Mikael Silvestre, potentially the worst defender in the history of the world.
That’s not to say that Silvestre wasn’t actually a pretty solid player during the height of his career at Manchester United, but those great years are also lost in distant memory. Back in 2006, Silvestre played a lot for the club, but since then has been abysmal. Injuries plagued his latter years in Manchester.
Then he moved to Arsenal in one of the greatest coupes of the century. The fact that anyone would pay a single dollar for such a player, who was clearly finished, had to be seen as brilliant work by Manchester manager Sir Alex Ferguson. At Arsenal, he was woeful to say the least. At fault for plenty of mistaken goals, Arsenal released Silvestre after two paltry years. Nobody wanted to pay anything for the player, so he was just released.
Amazingly, his prestigious past enabled Mikael Silvestre to sign with Werder Bremen in the Bundesliga. There he again failed to make much of an impact. The club’s sporting director had this to say of the player, “[Silvestre] has been a disappointment at left back, his playing style is remarkably slow, and he makes many mistakes.” Not quite the high praise for the aging veteran.
Silvestre suffered more injuries that prevented him from making a single appearance for the club in the 2011-2012 season, and Bremen released him after the year. No one signed him in the summer, and he has since been unemployed.
Somehow, in the face of sure retirement for Silvestre, he managed to sign a deal with the Portland Timbers, and will now probably feature for the club this upcoming MLS season.
For a defence that gave up 56 goals last year, they surely could use some help but Silvestre will not provide that. In fact, his terrible errors will probably make the Timbers defence even worse and lead to more suffering for the team. Somewhere in the middle of the season, he will probably be injured sparing himself and the club more embarrassment.
Mikael Silvestre is being praised as a former France International defender, but he never did much for his country. In his only major tournament action, he gave up two penalties during EURO 2004. He only played in a single game at the 2006 World Cup and hasn’t really featured since. Not much of an exciting prospect to say the least.
What the Timbers see in him is a complete surprise to me. Mikael Silvestre is a washed up shell of his former self. His name might spark some interest in the team, but once he sets foot on the field in Portland, the fans will learn, and it will be sad. This club has all the wonderful fan support that gives the MLS hope for a serious league, but whoever is in charge of signing players there is a fool. Boyd was an absolute failure, and Silvestre might just prove to be even worse.