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Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Timbers Go Dutch And Other News . . .

Posted by Brian Costello on Wed, Aug 4, 2010 at 2:26 PM

Ibad Mahamadu in his FC Dordrecht days.
  • via Soccer24-7.com
  • Ibad Mahamadu in his FC Dordrecht days.

The Portland Timbers just announced the signing of Dutch striker Ibad Muhamadu. Mahamadu most recently played with FC Dordrecht in the Dutch second division. He had a trial earlier this winter with Toronto FC of MLS and there was buzz that he would sign with them, but their loss is our gain.

With eight goals in 15 games last season at Dordrecht, the guy sounds like he can clearly put the ball, as the cliche goes, in the back of the net. Having some quality consistent finishing has been a bit of an issue with the Timbers this season, so watching Dordrecht pair up with the likes of Bright Dike could be engaging. But I also have to believe this signing was done with an eye towards next season's MLS campaign too.

For a bit more on the Dutchman's career, take it away press release:

A native of Amsterdam, Netherlands, Muhamadu began his professional career in 2001 with top-flight Dutch club FC Twente at the age of 19. Including his three seasons with FC Twente, Muhamadu has played a majority of his career in his native Netherlands for clubs Cambuur—Leeuwarden (2003-04), MVV (2004-05), FC Dordrecht (2006-08; 2009-10) and Willem II (2008-09). He also spent time with Belgium first-division side Cercle Brugge (2005-06) and German 3rd Liga club Dynamo Dresden (2008-09).

In nine seasons across Europe, Muhamadu has recorded 43 goals in 176 career matches. He scored a career-high 14 goals with MVV during the 2004-05 Eerste Divisie season.

There's some good footage of Muhamadu in action over at our friends at Dropping Timber.

More on the Timbers, some Greek mythology, and the amazing Timbers U-23 team after the jump.

Muhamadu will join the team on Friday after the Timbers return from their Odyssean journey skirting between Scylla and Charybdis. Their last challenge of the trip is tonight's match against the Rochester Rhinos at 4 p.m PST. Earlier on this voyage, Portland has been up and down. They triumphed in Vancouver, were blown away by AC St. Louis and most recently, a late equalizer by Takayuki Suzuki secured a draw in Tampa Bay. As a side note, I watched some of the Timbers v. Tampa Bay match on the internets and man, oh man, the Rowdies field is a disaster. It's a baseball field—named after George Steinbrenner no less—that appears on camera as though it is junior-high-school-level-narrow and is laid out like this:

Rowdies: WTF?
  • via Tampa Bay Rowdies
  • Rowdies: WTF?

ANYWAYS. Back to the matter at hand: Rochester. With the Rhinos six points clear of the Timbers in the division, a victory tonight would be both a great way to end the trip and close the gap. Portland will have their work cut out for them, though, as Rochester has had a week's rest. Ahhhh, USSF 2nd Division scheduling . . . you are a cruel and unmerciful deity. Internets and Radios for tonight's game.

ALSO, if you haven't noticed the Timbers U-23 developmental team has been kicking ASS this season in the Premier Development League going UNDEFEATED. U-23's? PDL? What? The PDL is the highest level of amateur competition in the U.S. and unofficially considered the fourth tier of American soccer. Rosters are primarily made up of university players who continue to develop over the summer in a more professional environment without losing their collegiate eligibility.

The Timbers U-23's boast four all conference players (forward Brent Richards, midfielder Freddie Braun, defender Ryan Kawulok and goalkeeper Jake Gleeson), two all league players (Richards and Braun), an incredible +47 goal differential, the first unbeaten regular season in the PDL in twelve years, have a roster with 15 of the 23 players hailing from Oregon and the Pacific Northwest, and a goalkeeper—Jake Gleeson—who was hero of the Timbers v. Atlas friendly earlier this season. In short, they're really REALLY good. As a result of all this awesomeness, Portland plays host to the PDL Championships this weekend Friday and Saturday at PGE Park with tickets going for only $10 per day with two games or $15 for the whole weekend both days of all four games. It's a killer deal for some excellent exciting soccer.

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