Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySoccer World 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
Silvestre's career follows Henry's path
by Paul Kennedy, February 21st, 2013 12:34AM

MOST READ
TAGS:  france, mls, portland timbers

MOST COMMENTED

[MLS SPOTLIGHT] Mikael Silvestre has landed at Portland, where he's being touted for what he can bring to the Timbers on the field and in the locker room. The 35-year-old, signed to a two-year agreement with an option for a third, is only the latest in a slew of French vets who have come to MLS seeking to prolong their career. Will he be like Thierry Henry, a two-time Best XI pick, or younger versions like Sebastien Le Toux and Aurelien Collin, also Best XI selections, after resurrecting their careers? Or will he be like Ousmane Dabo and Didier Domi, who didn't last a full season two years ago in New England?

Portland coach Caleb Porter, of course, believes Silvestre can have a big impact in the Rose City and will solidify the middle of the Timbers' backline alongside Hanyer Mosquera.

Besides Silvestre, the Timbers could start as many as five new players in Porter's rapid makeover: Ryan Miller and Michael Harrington at outside backs, Will Johnson and Diego Valeri in midfield and Ryan Johnson up front. All bring tremendous experience and leadership to the Timbers, who fell apart in 2012 after challenging for a playoff berth in 2011, their first MLS campaign.

"Mikael will bring a tremendous amount of experience and a presence on the field and in the locker room,” said Porter in announcing the signing. “He is a quality player on both sides of the ball and his impact will certainly go a long way in helping to solidify our back line. Mikael made a very positive impression on the players and our coaching staff during his two-week trial and we are very excited to welcome him to the Timbers organization.”

Like Henry, Silvestre was born to a father from the Caribbean island of Guadeloupe and raised in France. Their career paths were similar: starts at small clubs -- Silvestre at Rennes, Henry at Monaco -- followed up Silvestre short detours to Italy in 1998-89 -- Silvestre to Inter Milan, Henry to Juventus -- and then moves to England, where they both made it big -- Silvestre nine years at Manchester United, Henry eight at Arsenal.

Silvestre won five Premier League titles, plus one FA Cup, one League Cup and one UEFA Champions League.

But unlike Henry, who played in four World Cups and three European Championships, Silvestre played in just one European Championship (a rather disappointing showing at the 2004 finals in Portugal) and one World Cup (one appearance at the 2006 finals).

Silvestre's versatility allowed him to play at center back and left beck, but it was just his bad luck to have an exceptional generation of Frenchmen -- Laurent Blanc, Marcel Desailly, Lilian Thuram, William Gallas and Bixente Lizarazu -- ahead of him at these positions.

After Man United, Silvestre spent time at Arsenal and Werder Bremen in Germany, but he returned last fall to Manchester, where he was training in the hope of finding a new club.

-- Another Frenchman, Frederic Piquionne, played the first game of his tryout with the Timbers Wednesday in their 1-0 loss to FC Dallas. Other Frenchies looking to latch on include Pascal Chimbonda (Chicago), Peguy Luyindula (New York) and Djimi Traore (Seattle).



No comments yet.

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




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
U.S. Abroad: Adu debuts in KuPS victory    
Freddy Adu played his first league game in 20 months, starting for Finnish club KuPS in ...
NWSL Weekend: Press out-duels Solo in Red Stars' win    
Christen Press scored two goals, including the stoppage-time golazo that was the winner, and added an ...
MLS Saturday: FC Dallas-Toronto FC, a game of two days    
Some games are a tale of two halves. FC Dallas-Toronto FC was a tale of two ...
NASL Weekend: Cosmos draw sellout for shutout win    
The New York Cosmos a drew their largest home crowd since returning to the NASL in ...
USL Friday: Switchbacks romp in snow storm    
An April snow storm socked the Rockies on Friday night, but it couldn't stop the Colorado ...
MLS Friday: Red Bulls set standard high    
The New York Red Bulls remained unbeaten with a 2-0 win over the San Jose Earthquakes ...
What They're Saying: Dominic Kinnear    
"Us passing to them didn't help." -- San Jose coach Dominic Kinnear on what made the ...
USA-Mexico watched by almost 4.5 million fans    
Wednesday's USA-Mexico game averaged almost 4.5 million viewers on Spanish-language networks UniMas and UDN and Fox ...
NWSL Weekend: Sky Blue FC aims to extend streak    
It's a big weekend for pro soccer in the New York metropolitan area. New York City ...
NASL Weekend: Cosmos greats return for Raul home debut    
The New York Cosmos open their third season at home on Saturday, and they'll have special ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives