Ex-Newcastle United defender Steven Taylor has joined MLS Cup holders Portland Timbers.
The 30-year-old had previously spent his entire professional career with his boyhood club, making 268 appearances for the Magpies, but now leaves for a new challenge across the Atlantic after failing to agree a new contract with the recently relegated side.
Taylor will now hope to form a defensive partnership alongside fellow Englishman Liam Ridgewell, who has plied his trade with the Timbers since 2014 and joins a growing English contingent at the franchise, who also have Jack Barmby and Ben Polk on their books.
He fell out of favour at Newcastle during his last few years with the club and became somewhat of a scapegoat for their recent struggles and Taylor says this move is a well-timed, exciting prospect for his career.
“The excitement I’ve got is like when I left school at 16 to play professional – it’s like a new lease of life,” said Taylor.
“Everyone at Portland Timbers is making me very welcome and I just want to get playing again. My main goal is to win stuff and enjoy my football playing week in, week out, there is no better feeling than that.
“The fans sing all game I understand, in MLS everyone talks about the Portland Timbers fans. I think you have to experience it for yourself.”
Despite winning the MLS Cup last season, the Timbers have faced somewhat of a slump this campaign, currently sitting 7th in the Eastern Conference, but general manager Gavin Wilkinson believes Taylor’s arrival will be a timely boost as they look to make the playoffs.
“Taylor is a player with a wealth of experience in the English Premier League and will be a good fit in our club,” Wilkinson added.
“This addition addresses a positional need at a critical stage of the season.”