Timbers Announce Signing of Four Players for 2011

Alhassan, Danso, Goldthwaite & Marcelin signed

Alhassan, Danso, Goldthwaite, Marcelin

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Portland Timbers

PORTLAND, Ore.— The Portland Timbers announced today the signing of midfielder Kalif Alhassan, defender Mamadou “Futty” Danso, defender Kevin Goldthwaite and midfielder James Marcelin. Timbers general manager/technical director Gavin Wilkinson made the announcement.

Each of the four players was a member of the Timbers’ USSF Division-2 Pro League team in 2010. Danso and Goldthwaite helped Portland’s backline rank among second-division leaders in fewest goals allowed and shutouts last season.

“The four players we’ve added today can play at the next level in Major League Soccer,” said Timbers head coach John Spencer. “It doesn’t matter which division you’ve played in previously, if you’re good enough, you’re good enough. I think these guys have the ability to make an impact at the next level.

“We have signed a Gambian international in Futty and a young Ghanaian international in Kalif. James is a Haitian international, who has the potential to be one of the top young midfielders in the league. Kevin is a player I’ve known and worked with and has won a championship in Houston. He brings us great leadership qualities in the back. Their resumes and pedigrees are first-class.”

Alhassan, 20, joined the Timbers midway through the 2010 campaign and scored two goals in his eight matches with the club. Prior to arriving in Portland, Alhassan, a native of Accra, Ghana, played in Ghana’s first division with Liberty Professionals from 2007-10, and helped the club reach the semifinals of the 2009 West Africa Football Union Club Championship. He has been a member of Ghana’s National Team system since 2007, playing for both the U-17 and U-20 sides. He was called into camp with the senior national team in 2009.

Danso, best known by the nickname “Futty,” played the last two seasons with the Timbers’ second-division side. After joining the club as a rookie in 2009, Danso appeared in 40 regular-season games and registered two goals and an assist in his first two professional seasons. From Serekunda, The Gambia, Danso, 27, earned his first call-ups into camp with The Gambia National Team in 2010, joining the squad for 2012 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against Namibia in September and Burkina Faso in October. He had a standout collegiate career at Southern Polytechnic State University, where he earned All-America honors.

Goldthwaite, 28, joined the Timbers late in the 2010 campaign and made three appearances, including a postseason start. A veteran of six MLS seasons, Goldthwaite was selected 17th overall by the San Jose Earthquakes in the 2005 MLS SuperDraft and has played for San Jose, Houston Dynamo (2006-07), Toronto FC (2007) and New York Red Bulls (2007-10). A native of Sacramento, Calif., Goldthwaite was named the Red Bulls’ Defender of the Year in 2008, leading the club to an appearance in the 2008 MLS Cup. He also helped the Dynamo claim the 2006 MLS Cup. In total, he has played 87 regular-season games in MLS, recording three goals and five assists.

Marcelin, 24, played in 27 games (24 starts) last season with the Timbers, recording a goal and an assist. He played two seasons with the Puerto Rico Islanders of the USL First Division from 2008-09, contributing to the club’s 2008 USL First Division Commissioner’s Cup and consecutive appearances in the CONCACAF Champions League. From St. Marc, Haiti, Marcelin represented his country at the U-20 and U-23 levels before joining the Haitian National Team in 2007. He played in both the 2007 and 2009 CONCACAF Gold Cups among his senior team appearances. Marcelin began his career in 2003 with Haitian club Roulado.

Kalif Alhassan
Pronunciation: KAH-leaf AL-hass-on
Position: Midfielder
Height: 5-10
Weight: 160
Born: Oct. 15, 1990, in Accra, Ghana
Hometown: Accra, Ghana
Previous Club: Portland Timbers (USSF D-2 Pro League)
College: n/a
Citizenship: Ghana

Mamadou Danso
Pronunciation: MAMA-do DAN-sue
Position: Defender
Height: 6-3
Weight: 185
Born: April 27, 1983, in Serekunda, The Gambia
Hometown: Serekunda, The Gambia
Previous Club: Portland Timbers (USSF D-2 Pro League)
College: Southern Polytechnic State University
Citizenship: The Gambia

Kevin Goldthwaite
Pronunciation: GOLD-thwait
Position: Defender
Height: 6-1
Weight: 180
Born: Dec. 9, 1982, in Sacramento, Calif.
Hometown: Sacramento, Calif.
Previous Club: Portland Timbers (USSF D-2 Pro League)
College: University of Notre Dame
Citizenship: United States

James Marcelin
Pronunciation: mar-sa-LEE-in
Position: Midfielder
Height: 6-2
Weight: 175
Born: June 13, 1986, in St. Marc, Haiti
Hometown: St. Marc, Haiti
Previous Club: Portland Timbers (USSF D-2 Pro League)
College: n/a
Citizenship: Haiti