The club announced Wednesday the signings of forward Gaston Fernandez and defender Norberto Paparatto. Fernandez is a 30-year-old forward who is leaving Estudiantes de la Plata to join the Timbers while Paparatto is a center back who goes to Portland from Tigre. Per league policy, terms were not disclosed.
Fernandez was part of Estudiantes' Copa Libertadores-winning squad in 2009 and has played for a number of other Argentine clubs including River Plate. He also played with both Monterrey-based clubs in Liga MX, spending time in 2006 and 2007 with Monterrey and later moving to Tigres.
“Gaston is a talented and motivated player, and is a great addition to our club,” Timbers general manager Gavin Wilkinson said in a news release. “We add another quality, proven goal-scorer to our attacking group. He has experienced success in the top tiers of Argentina and Mexico, and we look forward to him making a big impact in Portland and MLS.”
Paparatto is a center back who was named Tigre's captain prior to the start of the season.
“One of our objectives in the offseason was to add another central defender with a specific profile, and we feel Paparatto is the ideal fit,” Timbers coach Caleb Porter said in a news release. “He is technically and tactically sound and will bring another player in our locker room that has experience and leadership qualities playing at a high level for many years. Norberto will also help with our aerial ability, which is a critical component we wanted to enhance in our team. We look forward to integrating him into an already deep back line.”
They'll team with compatriot Valeri, who enjoyed a stellar season with the Timbers after moving from hometown club Lanus.
The Timbers regional rivals, the Seattle Sounders, also did a bit of business, signing former Chivas USA midfielder Tristan Bowen, whose rights were acquired by the Sounders in a trade that sent Mauro Rosales to the California club.