PORTLAND, Ore. – When Vancouver Whitecaps boss Martin Rennie said Thursday that they had to fend off a number of MLS teams to land midfielder Nigel Reo-Coker, he apparently was not referring to the Portland Timers.
The Whitecaps’ Cascadia rivals – who had first claim on the English Premier League veteran’s Discovery rights – apparently didn’t feel like Reo-Coker fit in their future midfield plans. At least according to Timbers head coach Caleb Porter.
“He was on our discovery list, and to be honest we were never really that interested,” Porter said after a soggy training session Friday at JELD-WEN Field. “But at the end of the day, we’re happy to get something out of it, so it worked out good for us.”
Portland, who have their final game of the preseason on Saturday against AIK of Sweden, received Vancouver’s second-round picks in the 2014 and 2015 SuperDrafts for Reo-Coker’s rights.
The Timbers also announced the signing of trialist Michael Nanchoff, who spent the last two seasons with Vancouver and also played for Porter at the University of Akron, creating a logjam at the midfield spots. Nanchoff joins another former Akron star midfielder in Ben Zemanski, acquired last week from Chivas USA. They’ll presumably add depth behind starters Will Johnson, Diego Chará and Diego Valeri.
Porter said the team weighed Reo-Coker’s interest in coming to the Rose City, but the talks never went far.
“I think all along he was interested in going to Vancouver,” Porter said.
Dan Itel covers the Timbers for MLSsoccer.com.