The Portland Timbers front office identified the forward position as one of the team's offseason priorities ahead of the 2014 season, and they began addressing that need Tuesday with the resigning of striker Frederic Piquionne.
Per MLS policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed. With last year’s first-choice starter Ryan Johnson and backup Jose Valencia not expected to be back in Portland for 2014, the signing of the 35-year-old Piquionne leaves the Timbers with two strikers – the other is 22-year-old Argentinean Maximilliano Urruti – currently on the roster who saw first-team minutes last year.
Johnson was offered a bona fide contract in December, but he's seeking a new contract overseas, according to Timbers general manager Gavin Wilkinson. Valencia will likely be sent on loan to Argentina’s Club Olimpo, according to reports.
Piquionne, the Ligue 1 and English Premier League veteran, scored seven goals and recorded six assists across all competition last year for Portland. He had two standout performances in the US Open Cup, including a four-goal performance in a third-round match and the game-winning goal in a quarterfinals victory against FC Dallas.
He also scored a stoppage-time goal in the first leg of the Timbers’ Western Conference Championship series against Real Salt Lake in the MLS Cup Playoffs (above).
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Prior to joining the Timbers, Piquionne spent three seasons with West Ham United, then of the English second-division Championship.