PORTLAND, Ore. – The Portland Timbers announced today that the club has signed Congolese defender Dieumerci Vua (DEE-mer-see VOO-uh) and midfielder Keith Savage, and re-signed midfielder Tom Poltl for the 2009 season pending league and USSF approval.
Both Vua and Savage join the Timbers for their first season in the USL First Division, while Poltl returns for a fifth season in Portland.
Vua, 20, joins the Timbers from Italian Serie A club Catania and is member of the Democratic Republic of Congo National Team. He started his career in France and worked his way through the youth system of top-flight French club Stade Rennais before debuting with their reserve team at the age of 17 in 2005. Vua played in 30 matches over two seasons (2005-07) with Stade Rennais’ reserve team prior to joining Catania’s first team for the 2007-08 season.
Savage, 23, started his professional career in 2008 with Chivas USA of Major League Soccer. Selected 43rd overall, he was Chivas USA’s only player chosen in the 2008 MLS SuperDraft and appeared in six matches during his rookie campaign. Savage, a native of Gulf Breeze, Fla., was a standout at the University of West Florida, where he recorded 47 goals and 25 assists during his collegiate career and was an All-America selection in 2006.
Poltl, 31, played in 25 matches for the Timbers last season and recorded one assist. He ranks among the Timbers’ career leaders in both regular-season games (94) and minutes played (6,216). A native of San Diego, Calif., Poltl was recognized as the Timbers’ Community Player of the Year in 2006 for his work in the community. Prior to joining the Timbers in 2005, he played three seasons with the Orange County Blue Star of the Premier Development League (PDL).
With the announcement, the Timbers now have 16 signed players for the upcoming season.
After starting the season on the road, the Timbers face the Carolina RailHawks on April 30 in their home opener at PGE Park at 7 p.m. Season tickets, starting at $150, are available by contacting the Timbers ticket office at (503) 553-5555. More information regarding ticket packages, group discounts or party suites for the 2009 season is available at www.portlandtimbers.com.