PORTLAND, Ore. – The Portland Timbers have acquired the MLS rights to defender Claude Dielna from the New England Revolution in exchange for $100,000 in General Allocation Money (GAM), it was announced today.
Dielna, who signed as a Designated Player for New England on July 28, 2017, appeared in 28 games (26 starts) over two seasons (2017-18) with the Revolution, logging 2,279 minutes. During the 2018 campaign, Dielna, 31, played in 17 matches (15 starts) and logged 1,334 minutes, while the French defender appeared in 11 matches (11 starts) in his first season in MLS during the 2017 season.
“Claude is a player we have monitored closely since his arrival in Major League Soccer over a year ago,” said Gavin Wilkinson, general manager and president of soccer for the Timbers. “After many discussions with the player, it is clear that he has a keen interest in this opportunity to join the Timbers and contribute to the club’s success. His familiarity with the league, along with his global playing experience will be beneficial to our group.”
Prior to joining the Revolution, Dielna played in over 160 matches in Europe for six different teams across France’s Ligue 1 and Ligue 2, England’s English Football League Championship, Slovakia’s Slovak Super Liga and Romania’s Liga 1. Dielna began his professional career with FC Istres of Ligue 2 (2008-12), where he made 68 appearances and tallied two goals. After transferring to Greek club Olympiacos, Dielna went on loans to CS Sedan of Ligue 2 (2012-13), where he played in 27 games and tallied two goals, and AC Ajaccio of Ligue 1 (2013-14), where he played in 24 games across all competitions.
“Our coaching staff has a strong belief that Claude will be a very solid central defender within our group,” said Giovanni Savarese, head coach of the Timbers. “His qualities will pair well with an already strong defensive contingent. He has shown great motivation in coming to Portland, and we anticipate him being a positive addition as he integrates with our club this preseason.”
A native of Clichy-la-Garenne, France, Dielna played three years at Sheffield Wednesday of the EFL Championship (2014-17), where he made 25 appearances (24 starts) and tallied one goal across all competitions. During his time with Wednesday, Dielna went on loans to Slovan Bratislava (2015-16) of the Slovak Superliga, where he made four appearances (2 starts), and Dinamo Bucuresti of Liga 1 (2016-17), where he played in 12 matches (12 starts) across all competitions.