Timbers loan Keita to top-flight club in India

PORTLAND, Ore. – The Portland Timbers today announced that forward Mandjou Keita will join top-flight Indian club Salgaocar Sport Club on loan during the 2009-10 I-League Division 1 season.

Keita, the 2009 USL First Division Scoring Champion, is set to return to Portland for the 2010 USL First Division season, and as part of the loan agreement, the Timbers can recall him from his assignment in India as needed.

Keita could be eligible to play as early as Salgaocar Sport Club’s fixture on Saturday against JCT. Six matches into its 26-game season, the Indian side has a record of 1-2-3 (6pts).

With the Timbers in 2009, Keita, 29, earned USL First Division All-League first-team honors and tallied a league-high 29 points in 29 matches. His 11 goals and seven assists during the campaign paced a Timbers side that scored a league-best 45 goals. Following the regular season, Keita was named by fans as the Timbers’ 2009 Supporters Player of the Year.

A native of Guinea, Keita played in Asia from 2004-08 prior to joining the Timbers. He made his mark on the Malaysia Super League with Perak FC, earning the league’s Golden Boot award in 2006 as the leading scorer with 17 goals. Keita, a former member and captain of the Guinea U-23 National Team, suited up for DPMM FC in Brunei in 2008.