Portland is getting some much needed defensive help. The Timbers announced Thursday they signed Lithuanian defender Vytautas Andriuškevičius. Andriuškevičius has played primarily as a left back during his career, but can also play center back if needed. He made a number of stops across Europe, most recently playing for Dutch second-division club SC Cambuur. Andriuškevičius has also made 23 appearances for the Lithuanian national team. It appears Andriuškevičius was out of contract, meaning it’s likely Portland was able to get the big defender without a transfer fee. He will, however, take up an international slot.
Both coach Caleb Porter and general manager Gavin Wilkinson have talked about Andriuškevičius as a left back, a position featured a rotating cast of characters early in the season, but has recently been filled by Zarek Valentin. The Timbers have allowed 30 goals this season. The defense has been better in recent games, but depth is never a bad thing to have.
Here’s how to correctly pronounce Vytautas Andriuškevičius’ name, according to the Timbers’ website: vee-TOE-tas an-drew-SKA-vi-jus. Fortunately, for our sakes, it appears Andriuškevičius will simply wear “Vytas” on his jersey. Pronounced: vee-tas