Sporting ship Harrington to Portland for allocation money

Like Jack Jewsbury before him, Michael Harrington is headed to Portland in search of more consistent playing time.

On Monday, Sporting Kansas City and the Timbers agreed on a trade that sent the 26-year-old defender, who has the ability to play on both the left and right flanks, to Portland in exchange for allocation money.

“Michael is a versatile player with MLS experience who can fill a variety of roles,” Timbers GM Gavin Wilkinson said in a statement. “He will be a great addition to the organization for the way that [head coach] Caleb Porter wants to play and is expected to fight for a starting position.”

After being selected by Kansas City with the third-overall pick of the 2007 SuperDraft out of North Carolina, Harrington immediately established himself as a starter in MLS. He started 27 games his rookie season, contriubuting three goals and four assists, and averaged a shade less than 26 starts during his first four years in the league.

Harrington’s playing time dipped in 2011 and 2012, however, as Seth Sinovic and Chance Myers siezed the outside back spots in Kansas City, limiting the veteran to spot starts and the occasional substitute appearance. He’ll join Jewsbury in Portland, bolstering a Timbers backline undergoing a shake up following the trade of Kosuke Kimura to New York earlier on Monday.

The versatile left-footed Harrington, who can also play in the midfield in a pinch, should provide a veteran option for head coach Caleb Porter as the former Akron skipper attempts to guide Portland to the playoffs for the first time in franchise history.