Japanese World Cup player Suzuki signs with Timbers

[USL] The Portland Timbers signed 2002 Japanese World Cup player Takayuki Suzuki for the 2008 season. Suzuki, who has made 55 appearances and scored 11 goals for Japan, is considered the club's most significant signing since joining the USL in 2001.

"No other player has as many senior international appearances or international goals," said Timbers head coach and general manager Gavin Wilkinson. "He's a strong, left-footed striker and we expect him to fit in well and be a big contributor going forward."

Suzuki, 31, began his professional career in 1995 with the Kashima Antlers of the J-League and most recently played for Yokohama F. Marinos. He has also played for several J-League clubs as well as for clubs in Brazil, Belgium and Serbia.

Suzuki made his first appearances for Portland over the weekend. The Timbers lost to MLS's San Jose Earthquakes, 2-1, on Friday and beat Gonzaga University, 1-0, on Sunday.

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