Swedish duo leads Timbers' seven new signings

PORTLAND, Ore. – The Portland Timbers have signed six new players, including African striker Mandjou Keita, and resigned defender Cameron Dunn for the 2009 season, it was announced today pending league and USSF approval.

In addition to Keita, the Timbers’ new signings include two Swedish players in midfielder Johan Claesson and forward Antouman Jallow, midfielders Tony McManus and Brian Farber and forward Jason McLaughlin.

Keita, 29, joins the Timbers in 2009 for his sixth professional season. He made his mark on the Malaysia Super League with Perak FC, finishing as the club’s leading scorer in 2006 and 2007 with 17 and 20 goals, respectively. Keita earned the Malaysia Super League Golden Boot in 2006, finishing as the league-leading scorer. Born in Guinea, Keita is a former member and captain of the Guinea U-23 National Team. He last played for Duli Pengiran Muda Mahkota (DPMM) FC in Brunei during the 2007-08 season.

A four-year veteran of Sweden’s top league with Gefle IF, Claesson, 27, is set to join the Timbers in 2009. Claesson’s career started in the youth system of Hagby IK, and he entered the professional ranks with Sirius IK. He joined Gefle IF of the Allsvenskanliga in 2005, and played in a total of 97 regular-season matches during his career with the top-flight club.

Jallow, 27, began his career with Swedish club Sirius IK as a member of its youth system before attending the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He was a two-time All-American in 2004 and 2005 during his collegiate career with the Panthers before returning to Sweden to play for Gefle IF in 2005. In 2007, he made the switch back to Sirius IK of Sweden’s second tier and played in 31 matches over the past two seasons.

McManus, 28, played the last four seasons with the Atlanta Silverbacks. He appeared in 28 matches and logged three goals for Atlanta in 2008. During his time in Atlanta, McManus played in 156 regular-season matches, tallying seven goals and three assists, and led the Silverbacks to the USL First Division championship match in 2007. At the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), the Memphis, Tenn., native was a two-time All-Conference USA selection and was the conference Defender of the Year as a senior in 2004. He started his professional career with the Virginia Beach Mariners in 2004.

McLaughlin, 26, played in all 30 games for Atlanta in 2008 and finished among team leaders in scoring with six goals and three assists. A native of Provo, Utah, McLaughlin started his professional career with the Silverbacks in 2006, but after a pair of trades, played most of the 2007 season with the Vancouver Whitecaps. McLaughlin recorded 15 goals and 13 assists during his collegiate career at UAB and led the school to a top-25 finish in 2004 and 2005.

A standout at Oregon State University, Farber joined the Minnesota Thunder in 2007 after playing in a several Major League Soccer Reserve Division matches with the San Jose Earthquakes and the Houston Dynamo between the 2004 and 2006 seasons. With the Thunder, Farber, 26, recorded seven goals and three assists in 28 matches and was named to the USL First Division All-League second team. The Sandpoint, Idaho, native has also had a productive professional indoor career with the California Cougars, scoring 54 goals and 27 assists in 81 games since 2005.  

Dunn returns for a second season with the Timbers in 2009. Last season, he played in seven matches and scored his first professional goal after joining Portland in August. Dunn, 24, started his professional career with the California Victory in 2007, playing in 10 games as a rookie. He was a three-time All-Big West selection at UC Irvine and played in 73 matches during his collegiate career.

With the announcement, the Timbers now have 13 players under contract for the 2009 season, including returning defenders Cameron Knowles and Scot Thompson, and midfielders Miguel Guante, Lawrence Olum, Kiki Lara and Bryan Little.

Season tickets for the Timbers’ 2009 USL First Division season are now available by contacting the Timbers ticket office at (503) 553-5555. For more information on a variety of season-ticket packages, including the new Thursday Night ticket plan, visit www.portlandtimbers.com.