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Timbers ink French defender Silvestre

PORTLAND, Ore. -- The Portland Timbers have signed French defender Mikael Silvestre, an English Premier League veteran who played for both Manchester United and Arsenal.

Timbers owner Merritt Paulson announced the signing. Silvestre recently had preseason trials with both Portland and the Seattle Sounders.

The 35-year-old has played the past three seasons with Werder Bremen of the German Bundesliga. He played for Manchester United from 1999-2008 before two seasons with Arsenal.

The Timbers also brought in 34-year-old French striker Frederic Piquionne for a trial in advance of the season, which the Timbers open at home against the Red Bulls on March 3.

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