PORTLAND, Ore. — The Portland Timbers have signed Cameroonian midfielder Franck Songo’o, it was announced today. Songo’o joins the Timbers after playing the past six seasons in the top leagues in England and Spain. Timbers general manager Gavin Wilkinson made the announcement.
Songo’o, 24, last played for Spanish side Albacete Balompié, S.A.D. during the 2010-11 season. He started his professional career in England’s Premier League with Portsmouth FC in 2005 and played three seasons in England before making the move to Spain in 2008.
“We are absolutely delighted to have Franck signed,” said John Spencer, head coach of the Timbers. “He is a player that is going to be a huge success in Portland and one that is going to provide a lot of excitement on the field for our fans.”
Songo’o has been in preseason camp with the Timbers as a non-roster player and recorded four assists over the club’s four preseason matches during its recent camp in Carson, Calif. He will officially be added to the roster upon receipt of his P-1 Visa and International Transfer Certificate.
After coming up through the youth system at Spanish club FC Barcelona, Songo’o played three seasons at Portsmouth from 2005-08. His time with the club included loan spells with Championship clubs AFC Bournemouth, Crystal Palace, Preston North End and Sheffield Wednesday. While in England, Songo’o played in 34 league games, including three EPL appearances, scoring one goal.
In Spain, Songo’o played parts of three seasons with Real Zaragoza from 2008-10. He was a key figure in the club earning promotion from the second division to Spain’s top flight, La Liga, following the 2008-09 season, appearing in 26 games and scoring a goal during the campaign. Songo’o made 31 total appearances with Real Zaragoza. He joined Albacete midway through the 2010-11 season.
A native of Yaoundé, Cameroon, Songo’o has been capped by the Cameroon National Team, appearing in a 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifier against Cape Verde in 2008. He also represented Cameroon in the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, helping the team advance to the quarterfinal. Songo’o’s international career started with France’s U-17 and U-19 National Teams.
Born: May 14, 1987, in Yaoundé, Cameroon
Hometown: Yaoundé, Cameroon
Last Club: Albacete Balompié, S.A.D. (Spain)