Portland Timbers announce signing of Congolese defender Larrys Mabiala

Larrys Mabiala - Portland Timbers - with Turkey's Kayserispor

The Portland Timbers bolstered their shorthanded center-back corps on Monday, announcing the signing of Congolese international Larrys Mabiala from Turkish side Kayserispor.

Mabiala, 29, has been acquired via the use of Targeted Allocation Monday and will join the Timbers when the international transfer window opens in July, pending receipt of his International Transfer Certificate (ITC).

“We are pleased to acquire a player of Larrys’ quality and experience, and we are excited that he has chosen to join the Portland Timbers,” said Portland’s general manager and president of soccer Gavin Wilkinson in a club release.

“This has been a positional need since losing Gbenga Arokoyo to an injury and while it took longer than we would have liked, we are delighted to add a proven central defender with the right profile to help the team. We are pleased to welcome Larrys to Portland and look forward to his contributions to the club.”

Mabiala has logged 201 professional appearances, including in the UEFA Europa League, since making his debut in France’s Ligue 1 with Paris Saint-Germain in 2007. A native of Montfermeil, France, he spent the past six seasons in the Turkish Super League with Kayserispor and Karabükspor and has also played for French side Nice and English club Plymouth Argyle.

“Larrys Mabiala is a player that will bring a strong, physical presence to our team,” said Timbers heaed coach Caleb Porter. “His experience and leadership will be key and we expect him to make an immediate impact once he is fully transitioned.”

At international level, Mabiala has made nine appearances for the Democratic Republic of the Congo, starting in six 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifying matches as well as two games in the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations.