Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America Classifieds
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
Portland signs English defender
by Ridge Mahoney, December 15th, 2010 1:04AM

MOST READ
TAGS:  colorado rapids, mls


[MLS] Two English Premier League matches isn't a hefty entry on a player's resume, but the number of matches played by Kerrea Gilbert overseas isn't why Portland coach John Spencer is excited about the Arsenal product coming to MLS.

“We’re fortunate in that he’s young, he’s at the start of his career,” said Spencer to MLSsoccer.com of the 23-year-old. “We’re looking to build a team we can have for a number of years.”

Gilbert, a product of the Arsenal system that also produced MLS players such as Kansas City winger Ryan Smith, has played mostly on loan since making his first-team debut in 2005. He debuted for the first team as a 18-year-old in a Carling Cup match but made only 10 league and cup appearances for the Gunners in the past six seasons while going on loan to Cardiff, Southend, Leicester City and Peterborough.

He fell out of favor two years ago after being arrested for being drunk and disorderly. Arsenal released him last June and among the clubs who have inquired about his services are Blackpool and Colorado, whose head coach, Gary Smith, knows Gilbert from Smith’s stint as a Gunners’ coach and scout.

“Kerrea is somebody I was always very aware of, and he could have been quite a nice addition to our group,” Smith told MLSsoccer.com. “We did start a dialog, but it just didn’t fit. It wasn’t something that financially could fit into the budgets we had, and it wasn’t really a necessity to add another right back when there are other areas that need more attention.”

Gilbert visited Portland earlier this year to research a possible move to the MLS expansion team and Spencer, whose long playing career included time with Premier League clubs Everton and Chelsea, talked up the city, the team, and the league.

“He came out to get a look at us,” Spencer said. “I think he had a great time. ... The kid played a number of games at various clubs. When you are with an organization like Arsenal, it’s very difficult to get a chance to play. It’s a great assignment for us. No doubt, this is a good challenge and a good place to get himself going again.”

At 5-foot-6, Gilbert is about the same height as Spencer, though he plays both outside back positions and Spencer played up front. Gilbert does, however, have the speed and skills to get into the attack and represents another intriguing piece of the team Spencer and his staff are preparing for their inaugural MLS season.

“We’re asking for a little patience,” Spencer said. “If we were playing our first game this week, we’d be in some trouble. Fortunately, we’re not playing this week. Rome wasn't built in a day.”



No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
What They're Saying    
"I think the strict lesson is, any time you bring in a player and there's going ...
U.S. Paralympic national team roster    
[OLYMPIC TRAINING CENTER CAMP] U.S. Paralympic national team head coach Stuart Sharp named a 17-player roster ...
Red Bulls and Dynamo struggle to rediscover 2013 form    
[MLS: Week 8] A week after finally picking up its first win, the New York Red ...
Brilliant move by young Belgian    
[VIDEO PICK: Golazo] Theo Bongonda, an 18-year-old who plays for Zulte Waregem, scored after what we'll ...
Lahm: 'Heart and passion' will decide Real-Bayern semi    
[UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE] For the second time in three seasons, Bayern Munich and Real Madrid meet ...
Seattle and Washington are doormats no more    
[NWSL: Week 3] The NWSL's midweek slate of games begins Wednesday when Seattle, a 3-0 winner ...
Cruz Azul keeper Corona gets reprieve    
[CONCACAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE] Cruz Azul goalkeeper Jesus Corona, Mexico's likely No. 1 keeper for the World ...
Shalrie Joseph rejoins the Revolution    
[MLS TRANSACTIONS] The New England Revolution claimed midfielder Shalrie Joseph, a four-time MLS Best XI selection ...
Chelsea grinds out scoreless draw in Madrid    
[UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE] Defense-minded Chelsea got the result it was looking for, settling for a 0-0 ...
Beasley's injury is not serious    
[USA MEN] The U.S. national team coaching staff breathed a sigh of relief when it got ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives