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Visa denial ends Portland's pursuit of ex-Arsenal defender

A deal that had been stagnated for several weeks sputtered to a halt when the Timbers announced their attempt to sign former Arsenal defender Kerrea Gilbert had been halted.

"It came down to the fact that his P-1 visa was denied," said Portland technical director Gavin Wilkinson Friday. "He will not be joining us this year."

The P-1 visa is necessary for a foreign national not holding a green card to work legally in the United States. Attempts to obtain a visa for Gilbert, 24, were delayed by U.S. Immigration Agency officials in regards to his drunk-and-disorderly arrest in October, 2008, and other alcohol-related incidents. Arsenal released him last June after sending him out on loan to several clubs the previous four seasons.

Portland had announced his signing Dec. 13, contingent upon his visa application being approved.

Read the whole story at The Oregonian »

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