Major League Soccer

Timbers sign Fernandez, Paparatto

Portland, OR (SportsNetwork.com) - The Portland Timbers announced on Wednesday the club has signed Argentine defender Norberto Paparatto as well as striker Gaston Fernandez.

Fernandez, 30, joins the Timbers after several seasons in Argentina and Mexico. Starting his professional career in 2002, Fernandez has made 224 appearances, scoring 48 goals in Argentina's Primera Division with River Plate (2002-03; 04-06), Racing Club (2003-04), San Lorenzo (2007-08) and Estudiantes (2008-09; 2010-13).

He won league titles with three different clubs and played in four Copa Libertadores tournaments, winning the competition in 2009 with Estudiantes. Fernandez also scored 19 goals over 51 league appearances during parts of four seasons with Mexican clubs Monterrey (2006-07) and Tigres (2008, 2009).

"Gaston is a talented and motivated player, and is a great addition to our club," said general manager Gavin Wilkinson. "We add another quality, proven goal-scorer to our attacking group. He has experienced success in the top tiers of Argentina and Mexico, and we look forward to him making a big impact in Portland and MLS."

Paparatto, 30, has played in Argentina's first division with Tigre since 2007, making more than 100 appearances and scoring one goal in league play. He also 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.

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.

"Norberto Paparatto brings leadership and experience, two characteristics that further strengthen the club," Wilkinson said. "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."

Both players will be added to the Timbers roster upon receipt of their P-1 Visas and International Transfer Certificates.

Also on Wednesday, the Timbers announced they have sent forward Jose Valencia on a season-long loan to Argentine side Olimpo.

Valencia, 22, made 21 regular-season appearances (5 starts) in his first full MLS season, scoring one goal and recording three assists. He also played in three matches during Portland's run to the 2013 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup semifinals and made a pair of appearances in the MLS Cup Playoffs.

01/15 13:11:20 ET

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