PORTLAND, Ore. – The Portland Timbers today announced the signing of Argentine center back Norberto Paparatto. He will be added to the roster pending the receipt of his International Transfer Certificate (ITC) and a P-1 visa. Per MLS and club policy, terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Paparatto, 30, has played in Argentina’s first division with Club Atlético Tigre since 2007, making more than 100 appearances and scoring one goal in league play. He helped guide Tigre to three of its best seasons in club history in the Primera División, including a tie for first place following the 2008 Apertura tournament. Paparatto aided in Tigre making its first appearances in international competition, twice playing in the Copa Sudamericana and earning a berth in the 2013 Copa Libertadores.
- WATCH: Paparatto Highlights
“Norberto Paparatto brings leadership and experience, two characteristics that further strengthen the club,” said Gavin Wilkinson, Timbers general manager. “He has a desire to play in MLS and Norberto’s ambitions as a player are in line with what we want to accomplish as a club. After several scouting trips and speaking to him at length, we are excited to have him on board with the Timbers.”
The Androgué, Argentina, native was named Tigre’s captain ahead of the 2013-14 campaign, starting all 17 of his league appearances and contributing to six shutouts in the Inicial season.
“One of our objectives in the offseason was to add another central defender with a specific profile, and we feel Paparatto is the ideal fit,” said Caleb Porter, Timbers head coach. “He is technically and tactically sound and will bring another player in our locker room that has experience and leadership qualities playing at a high level for many years. Norberto will also help with our aerial ability, which is a critical component we wanted to enhance in our team. We look forward to integrating him into an already deep backline.”
Paparatto first joined Tigre ahead of the 2007-08 campaign and played in 23 games for the club that season, 11 of which came during the Apertura tournament as Tigre finished as the league’s runner-up in second place. He started all 19 games during the 2008 Apertura campaign as Tigre assembled its best season in Argentina’s top flight with a 12-4-3 (39pts) record and a share of first place in the table, helping the club qualify for the 2009 Copa Sudamericana.
After helping Tigre to a second-place finish in the 2012 Clausura tournament, Paparatto appeared in 26 games across all competitions for the club during the 2012-13 campaign. He contributed to Tigre’s run to the final of the 2012 Copa Sudamericana and played in six matches in the 2013 Copa Libertadores as the club reached the knockout stages of the tournament.
Paparatto started his professional career with Club Atlético Lanús during the 2005-06 season after coming up through the club’s development system. He played the 2006-07 season in Argentina’s second division with Club Atlético Tiro Federal Argentino.
Pronunciation: nor-BEHR-toe POP-are-ah-toe
Born: Jan. 3, 1984, in Androgué, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Hometown: Androgué, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Last Club: Club Atlético Tigre (Argentina)
Acquired: Signed on Jan. 15, 2014