The Colorado Rapids, looking to add some experience to the team’s roster for 2015, made its first move in that direction today by announcing the acquisition of veteran defender Michael Harrington from the Portland Timbers.
Harrington, an eight-year veteran who started 54 games for the Timbers over the last two seasons, joins the Rapids in exchange for allocation money. He can play either left or right back and is expected to give the Rapids some much-needed options on its backline for 2015.
"I think Mike Harrington will be a good fit for the group as we continue to build and improve our roster for 2015,” said head coach Pablo Mastroeni. “He's a player with experience and knows what it takes to win in our league. As an outside back who can play on either side, he's a good passer of the ball with an emphasis on getting into the attack. I look forward to working with Mike when we hit the ground running in January."
Harrington joined the Timbers in 2013 after six years with Sporting Kansas City where he was one of the team’s career leaders in regular season games (149) and minutes played (11,633). Drafted No. 3 overall out of the University of North Carolina in the 2007 MLS SuperDraft, Harrington has been an MLS starter since his very first year in the league. He has played at the international level for the United States under-17, under-20 and under-23s.
In 2013 he led the Timbers with 2,951 minutes played and started all four of Portland’s 2013 MLS Cup playoff games. He appeared in 14 of 15 games where Portland’s defense shut out opponents and helped the team set an MLS single-season record of 11 home shutouts during the regular season.
Harrington played collegiately for the North Carolina Tar Heels from 2003-2006, appearing in 82 games as the Tar Heels qualified four straight years for the NCAA tournament. He was first team all-conference in the Atlantic Coast Conference as a senior and second team all-ACC his junior year.
Straight out of college, Harrington started 27 regular season matches for Sporting KC, scoring three goals. The following season he started all 30 regular season contests and scored two goals.
Harrington was one of nine original members of the U.S. under-17 residency program in Bradenton, Fla., designed to fast-track promising young players and prepare them for future play at the highest level. He competed for the U.S. in the 2003 FIFA U-17 World Championships in Finland.
Two years later, he played for the U.S. under-20 squad (coached by current Seattle boss Sigi Schmid) in the 2005 FIFA World Youth Championships in Holland. Harrington was named an alternate for the U.S. team in the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Michael Harrington quick facts
Height: 6 feet
Birthdate: January 24, 1986
Birthplace: Greenville, N.C.
Personal: Favorite soccer moment is scoring a goal for Sporting KC just three minutes into his first game as a professional player. Majored in exercise and sport science at UNC. Favorite player is Thierry Henry and favorite club is Arsenal. Has personal habit of always putting his left shin guard and left shoe on first when getting ready for a game.