The Portland Timbers may have had to bid farewell to a handful of key players from their championship-winning squad, but that hasn't stopped them from going after and securing fresh reinforcements.
Sources have confirmed to Goal USA that the Timbers are set to add free-agent midfielder Ned Grabavoy and defender Zarek Valentin. Grabavoy will join the Timbers as a free agent, while Valentin is set to be acquired after Portland completed a trade with the Montreal Impact to secure his MLS rights.
Grabavoy, 32, spent the 2015 season with New York City FC after previously having played a key role on Real Salt Lake for several years. The skillful midfielder should help add depth to a Timbers midfield that lost Will Johnson this offseason. Grabavoy will be reunited with Timbers head coach Caleb Porter, who was an assistant coach at Indiana University when Grabavoy played for the Hoosiers.
Valentin, 24, will also reunite with Porter, having played for him on the 2010 NCAA championship-winning Akron team, and more recently in 2012 as a starter on the U.S. Under-23 national team. Valentin has spent the past three years playing for Norwegian side Bodo Glimt. A versatile defender capable of playing at right back or in central defense, Valentin should help provide a skilled defense option for a Timbers backline that has yet to re-sign Argentine defender Norberto Papparatto.
Grabavoy and Valentin will join Jamaican defender Jermain Taylor and Chris Klute as additions made this winter. The Timbers have had to bid farewell to a handful of players from their MLS Cup-winning squad, including Jorge Villafana, Max Urruti and Johnson.
The Timbers are still trying to re-sign MLS Cup standout Rodney Wallace to a new deal, but have yet to reach an agreement.