One of the areas of improvement that the Timbers have highlighted this off season is improving the back line. It is well documented the Achilles heal of the Timbers last season was inconsistent CB play, mainly due to lots of turnover due to injury. After the season ended the Timbers parted ways with several CBs, and this offseason the they are hoping to bring in a quality CB to help shore up the back line and improve the defense in front of Donovan Ricketts.
One name that has been whispered is that ofÂ Norberto Paparatto, a CB currently playing for Tigre of the Argentine Primera DivisiÃ³n. We all know that the Timbers are high on Argentinians, but that is not the only tie possibly linking him to the Rose City.
First, there are rumblings coming out of Argentina that Paparatto is on his way to MLS, so its not a stretch to think Portland the destination. According toÂ a report on OlÃ©, Paparatto is possibly making a move to MLS. I do not speak or read spanish, so Google Translate is the best I can do. The gist of what I understood is that they asked Paparatto about the rumored MLS move and he said that if the offer was good for both him and the club (unclear if that meant the MLS club or Tigre) that he would welcome the move. Checkout the full google translated snippit below:
In recent times stronger did the rumor of the possible departure of Norberto Paparatto a U.S. team.Â “If the offer is good for both me and the club, it is welcome,” he toldÂ OlÃ©Â captain Matador.Â “The reality is that these periods always circulating versions.Â For my part, I avoid thinking about these issues, because many times we talk and then do not get anything … “concluded the defender.
Secondly, Â as mentioned above, the Timbers have been searching for a talented CB to bring in.Â Paparatto fits the bill. Paparatto has started in 17 games for Tigre, which currently sits in 12th place on the table with 25 points. The team has allowed 21 goals and currently has a -1 goal differential. Obviously the woes of an entire team cannot be placed on a single player, but I thought the goals allowed bit was at least worth noting.
Finally, Portland has dealt with Tigre in the past. SebastianÂ Rincon recently returned to Tigre after he and the Timbers could not agree on a contract to keep the talented youngster in Portland. So there is a history of the two clubs working together; maybe after it was clear that Rincon was heading back the Timbers noticed and asked about Paparatto.
Obviously, none of this is definitive proof that Paparatto is the Timbers guy. But, to me at least, this looks like it may be the big CB that the Timbers are bringing to town. I have put out a few feelers to my limited PTFC sources, but no one has confirmed or denied that Paparatto was inbound yet. So take that as you will.
Here is some highlight tape of the CB:
I like what I see in this highlight real. He looks like a solid CB that could hold his own in the MLS. First it was Colombians, now it appears the Timbers favorite flavor is Argentinean. Merritt Paulson teased that this upcoming week was going to be full of big news for the Timbers and Thorns, so this announcement – if it is Paparatto – could be imminent. I guess time will tell…
What are your thoughts on Paparatto? Do you feel like he could be the guy the Timbers are bringing in to fix the back line? Share your thoughts in a comment below.