Portland Timbers sign Lithuanian left back Vytautas Andriuskevicius

Vytautas Andriuskevicius defends for Lithuania against England - 7/14/16

The Portland Timbers added to their defensive corps on Thursday, when the club announced that they have signed Lithuanian national team left back Vytautas "Vytas" Andriuskevicius.

Andriuskevicius, 25, joins Portland with over 120 matches of first-team experience in the top divisions of the Netherlands, Sweden, Poland and Lithuania. He last played for Dutch club SC Cambuur, making 52 appearances in two years for the club before they were relegated from the Eredivisie after finishing last in the 2015-16 season.

“It has been our priority to acquire a left back in the summer transfer window, and we are pleased to welcome Vytas to the club,” Portland GM Gavin Wilkinson said in a statement released by the club. “We have been looking to add a more natural left back that fits our system on both sides of the ball during this window, and we feel Vytas is a good fit for our club and the league. He has experience playing in strong European leagues and for his country at the international level, and, at 25, is in the prime of his career.”

Prior to joining Cambuur, Andriuskevicius spent one season with Swedish club Djurgardens IF, making 21 appearances. He turned pro in 2007 with Lithuanian club FBK Kaunas and appeared 32 times in the Polish first-division with Lechia Gdansk from 2010-2013.  

He has 23 career caps with the Lithuanian national team, including six starts during their UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying campaign against teams including tournament qualifiers England, Switzerland and Russia.

The 6-foot-2 Andriuskevicius, who will occupy an international slot on the Timbers roster, will compete with Zarek Valentin for minutes at left back.

“Vytas has a strong mentality and the physical tools to succeed in MLS,” Portland head coach Caleb Porter said in the statement. “His profile is a good fit for our system as we want our outside backs to be effective defenders first, and that is his biggest strength. He has also shown the ability to push forward in the attack and provide width and service, which is another important aspect we need from that position. In addition, he has a frame that should benefit us on set pieces. We are pleased to add his experience and quality to our club at this crucial stage of the season."