PORTLAND, Ore. – Halfway through the 2012 season, the Portland Timbers are continuing to fine-tune their roster, and their newest acquisition comes in the form of Colorado Rapids right back Kosuke Kimura.
The team announced the deal Thursday that sent allocation money and an international roster slot to the Rapids in exchange for the six-year veteran from Japan.
WATCH: Kimura speaks after first training session
The move gives the Timbers freedom to return team captain Jack Jewsbury, who has started seven of the last eight games at right back, to his normal and favored center midfield position. Kimura also brings much-needed experience to the Timbers roster as a winner of MLS Cup 2010 while with the Rapids.
“I’ve been in the MLS for six years, and I know what it takes and I’ve won a championship,” Kimura said after training with the Timbers for the first time on Thursday. “So I think I can bring something to this club, and hopefully they can accept me and we can build a good team here.”
It has been a whirlwind of events for Kimura, who has started 12 games for Colorado this year but hasn’t played in their last three matches. The free agent to be was told he’d been dealt to Portland after the Rapids game Wednesday night against Vancouver.
He made it to town just in time to train with the Timbers on Thursday, and head coach John Spencer said he would play in their game Saturday at Real Salt Lake (9 pm ET, watch LIVE online).
“It’s tough for me to leave there, and I couldn’t even say goodbye to anybody because it was so quick and I had to come in here this morning,” Kimura said. “It was tough, but at the same time I’m really, really excited to be here. I hear so much good about the Timbers, all the fans, all the people here, all the players and coaches here.”
Kimura’s addition also marks the third new starter added by Portland since the season started. The Timbers signed trialist Steven Smith to play left back in April and traded for forward Danny Mwanga a month ago.
And now Spencer will have a decision on his hands when it comes to Jewsbury.
Since his move to right back, second-year player Darlington Nagbe has taken over at the attacking midfield position. Presumably, Spencer has the option to move Nagbe to forward, where he has played off and on, or bench Jewsbury.
Dan Itel covers the Timbers for MLSsoccer.com. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.