Portland signs Kris Boyd as designated player

KrisBoyd (Getty)

The Portland Timbers were looking for a strong target forward to help fill the role that Kenny Cooper never could quite fill, and they have turned to a proven goal-scorer to do the job.

The Timbers have signed Scottish striker Kris Boyd as a Designated Player, the team announced on Monday. Boyd, the Scottish Premier League's all-time leading scorer, joins the Timbers after a failed move to Turkish side Eskisehirspor ended prematurely due to unpaid wages.

Boyd had been in talks with the Houston Dynamo, but concerns about the heat in Texas, which can be brutal in the summer, ultimately led Boyd to pass on a move there before he eventually reached a deal with the Timbers. According to the Houston Chronicle, the Timbers are sending a first-round draft pick in 2013 to Houston for Boyd's Discovery rights.

What do you think of this signing? See Boyd being the player who helps turn Portland into a playoff team?

Share your thoughts below.

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82 Responses to Portland signs Kris Boyd as designated player

  1. Roger Escrow says:

    The Scottish Premier League’s all time leading scorer

  2. Roger Escrow says:

    It’s almost like if Aberdeen signed Jeff Cunningham

  3. over there says:

    Houston = DISSED

  4. over there says:


  5. camjam says:

    if Cunningham were still 28 and could ball

  6. David says:

    Except Cunningham’s career is pretty much over since he is 35 where as Boyd is only 28.

  7. Mingjai says:

    I don’t feel too bad for Houston–they did get a 1st round pick out of it.

  8. predicto says:

    Wow, he’s a legendary poacher – more than one goal every two games for Rangers. And he’s only 28. Wonder what his salary is?

  9. jim b says:

    He does realize that he’ll still have to play away matches in places like houston, dallas, kc etc. right?

  10. Ray Hudson says:

    He’s no buck-toothed Brazilian dancing on a telephone wire, but I love that MLS has gotten a player like this. I think he’ll be one of the top 5 goal scorers in the league for the next 2 or 3 years.

  11. Mike Vann says:

    Damn good player. Certainly could have found employment in the lower half of the Premier League and easily the Championship. I had a sneaky feeling when he turned down Houston he wasn’t turning down MLS. It makes sense Spencer and Portland signed him. He fits perfectly into their scheme.

  12. Charles says:

    No, not at all. Cunningham is 35 and didn’t lead his league in scoring two years ago.

    To the guy laughing, I think he was serious and he is entitled to his opinion.

  13. Olly says:

    It’s great that you can get first round draft picks for not signing players these days.

  14. stpauljosh says:

    but he won’t be living in the hell-like texas summers.

  15. Air Jordanz says:

    And he’s already used to the less than stellar weather he’ll see in Portland.

  16. Luis says:

    Please explain to me the logic in the “discovery” here that led to Houston receiving a draft pick? I think the Discovery rule is ridiculous in the first place, but even more so here with a DP who clearly didn’t need “discovering.” So what, he didn’t want to live in Houston and they couldn’t agree to terms, tough luck. He was a free agent, able to sign anywhere in the world, what rights should Houston have over Vancouver in this matter? And yes, I know how MLS operates, but I can still be perturbed by the system.

  17. blag says:

    Man Houston just cannot seem to pick up any good foreign talent. Its not like the FO has not tried, its just all the ones they have gone for end up not coming to Houston or mls. At this rate, Houston is looking to have a bad year considering how much they have lost, the extra schedule, and how many decent to good signings other teams have acquired. I do not know how Kinnear is going to manage a keeping this team at atleast midtable of the eastern conference if he cannot pick up some quality signings to fill in the roster and the massive amount of talent that has left the club. All the FO has gotten so far is 1 draft signed and has bunch of other drafts on trial with a bunch of trialists.

    Though portland is looking in good shape with some better forwards as long as the service gets in.

  18. Advocate says:

    Perfect signing for Portland, IMO. A physical, proven scorer who won’t be afraid to mix it up with MLS CBs. And he’s a Scot, which ought to fit Portland’s rough-around-the-edges MO.

    As a Sounders fan, he’s not who I would chase for Seattle’s squad, but for Portland I think he’s a great fit.

    Won’t help them against the Sounders though, of course. 😉

  19. Air Jordanz says:

    As a Dynamo fan, I agree!

  20. David says:

    I agree Houston should not get anything for failing to sign a player who is a free agent.

  21. Air Jordanz says:

    Way to bite the hand that feeds barely a year later. Hey Portland & Vancouver, remember the 2011 Expansion draft?

  22. SMP says:

    The first round draft pick is not correct. From the Timbers owner:

    @maofootball hou had his rights until last week. Wed was we realized we might have a chance prior to window close So if 5 days is a while..

  23. blag says:

    Yea, but that pick may be high or low. It depends on where the pick is in the draft. Houston got the second pick that portland (according to the houston chronicle.)

  24. gertie says:

    Oh joy, a player who will give it 100%, play the right way, take one game at a time, be willing to muck it up and who has the technical abilities of his fellow brits.

    What is not to love?

    Hey, at least hes not a 6th division plaer like the Bulls have.
    I mean, the scottish first division. Whoowee, that be seomthing…

    No idea who he is but I cant be the only one.

  25. Zach says:

    Phenomenal signing for Portland. Boyd is a baller…and he’s only 28 which is quite young for the type of striker he is (poacher / relying more on strength than speed). He’ll definitely push for leading scorer in MLS. I’d put money on him being in the top 3 of that list easily.

  26. tim says:

    Are you smoking crack? We lost Danny Cruz, Brian Ching, and Carlo Costly, three overpaid players who werent lighting up the scoreboard. If anything, Houston will be in a better position this year than last.

  27. Steve C says:

    Agreed. lol. Recently, I discovered Eden Hazard. Pretty sure I should be compensated when he inevitably goes to England.

  28. RLW2020 says:

    good one, the truth is this league is run on monopoly money. but hey it seems to work.

  29. Ossington Mental Youth says:

    Pretty great signing, incredible signing for the league especially as hes only 28, Ives ya missed out on TFC signing Aceval

  30. Zach says:

    500 hypothetical dollars haha. I just think the goal scoring for Portland is gonna go through Boyd. Im not suggesting hes a world superstar. Hes just a better, more durable version of Kenny Cooper so he fits Portlands system well
    Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T

  31. Poo says:

    Agree. this makes no sense whatsoever. At what level of talks with houston was he discovered? sounds like total BS to me.

  32. blag says:

    Um, all of our foward production was pretty terrible last year so no it is not an upgrade and now we are down a foward since Ching was still better than all the others. Danny Cruz did a lot for us on the right wing and I am not sold on Collin Clark or Watson doing things as well as Danny could. We also lost a few more other young players and we have a heavier schedule. I believe we also have the fewest signed players in the league. So Houston is in a bad position in terms of total roster and the quality and leadership it lost.

  33. isaf says:

    I bet they’re paying him a million a year. Not bad. hope they signed him to like 4 year contract. Plus he could still get call ups with scotland

  34. Ben says:

    He’s shite he cudnt cut it in the championship!!says it all about the standard of Scottish football.prob b gd in MLS bt he’s too lazy!!

  35. A wise man once says:

    Boyd is a wimp.

    And no, I’m not a Houston fan.

  36. Brina Ching says:

    yeah, the jerks…

  37. Gnarls says:

    Twitter murdered English. Use some punctuation, forgodsake.

  38. camjam says:

    Couldn’t cut it in the Premier League (Supposedly. 6 goals is more than a lot of guys score). He kinda tore up the Championship (like 10 goals in 12 games for Nottingham).

    Lest we forget his goals in Scotland

  39. Gnarls says:

    Please try again.

  40. Gnarls says:

    Will be interesting to see his pay once 2012 salaries are released.

  41. isaf says:

    MLS is arguably the same level as the SPL and Scandinavian leagues. No idea why MLS doesn’t try to grab some of those players. Decent guys playing who would help our league and paying them $150 K we could lure them from those leagues.

    salary cap needs to be raised to $5 million within 5 years so we can compete

  42. Poo says:

    Someone should tell NYRB to check out the scand. leagues for talent…oh wait.

  43. The Imperative Voice says:

    Except someone has to score goals here. Something for nothing means you start the camp with nothing up top…..it’s like Carr, Bruin, Weaver, and a bunch of draft picks and trialists. And that Ching is possibly the fallback is hardly reassuring…..we did lose to LA in the final without looking dangerous at all. Know Kinnear likes to fight and fight but you gotta score 1 to win 1-0.

    Which would also be my response to the Trust Dom crowd, do I trust someone who constantly sloughs the forward position and arguably hasn’t won since 2007 because of it? Is that Nats material?

  44. The Imperative Voice says:

    In theory we have lots of roster space and cap room. In practice the marquee names trying out are Colin Rolfe and some Trinidadian. So far it’s a lot of hot air about us going to sign x y or z — double entendre intended — but no new stars in camp to fill the room.

    One comment: he acts like it’s the heat but we probably have a rep for washing out most of our internationals quickly….Ade Akinbiyi, Koke, etc. We tend to offer short release periods and backload compensation to Year 2 that may never come. Maybe talking about the heat was part true part politeness.

  45. RK says:

    Wow, he’s only 28; this is a great signing.

  46. GSScasual says:

    im sure heat was the least of his concerns… it was probably the idea of living in a gun riddled, fascist state.

  47. JL says:

    I thought that any DP signing of a player allowed teams to supercede discovery claims, did that change recently? And yes, only in MLS do you get compensated for not signing a player.

  48. Mikebsiu says:

    Wow, he might be one of the best players in this league. As a fire fan I am jealous.

  49. abc says:

    Expansion drafts make sense and are a part of ever major American sports league (even if they’re not expanding quite as often as MLS).

    This “discovery rule” is complete nonsense, it shouldn’t apply to established players on first division teams in other countries, any MLS team should be able to sign someone like that.
    Otherwise I would be putting a couple of my 10 annual discovery claims on Ibra and Ronaldo, just so if they ever come to MLS, the Galaxy or Red Bulls have to pay me for their rights.
    This is a very American concept though, it’s sort of like Columbus discovering America when there were already people here.

  50. abc says:

    Guys he said “shite” so he must know what he’s talking about…

  51. abc says:

    I thought so too, very confusing…

  52. hogatroge says:

    I think you’re underrating Clark and overrating Cruz. I agree with the assessment of Watson, but obviously Dom doesn’t since he protected him in the Expansion Draft. Remember… Clark’s the guy who dribbled through 3 defenders to score the equalizer against FCD while a man down last season. He was hampered by injuries for a while, though.

    That said, our shallow roster makes me nervous. We only have 20 signed players right now. We do have 10 trialists/draft picks in camp, and I’d expect at least half to stick. At least we’ll hit the midseason transfer window before CCL play heats up.

  53. JoeW says:

    B/c the vast majority of foreign players haven’t been outside of Europe and/or South America, don’t know squat about this country and would prefer to play in LA or NYC.

    This signing illustrates the point: it’s generally harder for KC, Columbus, Houston, Colorado to sign Europeans who envision coming to America and seeing the bright lights of the big city.

    Let’s be honest: discovery rules impact at best a handful of players each season. And the majority of those players are going to be USL guys out of contract.

    As for the specifics….I think Houston made out fine…they get a #1 pick. And b/c the West is so tough, it’s not likely to be at the bottom of the first round. I think Portland was unique suited to attract Boyd. Damp, rainy weather that probably feels a bit like Scotland, a blue-collar city that is pedestrian friendly, a coach who’s a big name in Scotland. I bet there are only 2-3 other teams in MLS who could have attracted Boyd. And yes, for all it’s draw, Houston is a really tough place to be in the summer–I’d argue much worse than Dallas.

  54. Texian1839 says:

    Good comment. I don’t buy the heat excuse either. Adam Moffat is from Scottland, came here from Potland, playing big minutes and is scoring goals from the cheap seats. He also has a beard which has to be Africa hot to play with IMHO. Hainault is from Canada and put in 2,800 minutes for crying out loud. Regardless, with more than half the world’s footballing population nearer the equater and not the north sea (i mean pole), we are bound to put someone on the DP list sooner or later – PS, we made the finals without a showpiece didn’t we?

  55. Kejsare says:

    The policy behind the Discovery Rule is to stop MLS teams from getting into a bidding war and driving up salaries. Ergo, it’s a cost cutting measure.

  56. jgdurl says:

    Uh, he scored 12 goals in 37 games in the Championship. Not at all shabby, especially considering he was benched by Middlesbrough for an extended period of time.

  57. jgdurl says:

    This is a great signing by Portland. He’ll be among the league leaders in goals in his first season.

  58. Donny says:

    Portland will still have as Swiss cheese D

  59. Roger Escrow says:


  60. PDXMattB says:

    Yeah but he doesn’t have to stay in those hellholes for more than a day.

  61. PDXMattB says:

    Yes, thanks for making your 12th best players available to us.

  62. roger says:

    lol which says nothing about Houston, the mecca of oil and gas. This past summer we hit above the 90’s for at least 60 consecutive days.

  63. A wise man once says:

    Have you even ever been to Texas?

  64. Powderhorn Pops says:

    my initial response was – WOW!
    Boyd is going to be very good in MLS. I look foward to watching him play.

  65. 99 says:

    Powderhorn in MPLS?

  66. Edwin in LA says:

    Well this the 3rd of a 5 year Collective Bargaining Agreement, CBA, so in 3 years there will be a new one in place. I think that one should bring our Salary cap up to about 5 since we are around 3 and a half million now with a 5% or is it 10 each year?

    I think by then a 5.5 million dollars should be reasonable, personally I’d like 6-7 million which would make them very competitive, even with Argentina and Brazil for the South American players from other lower level countries go play in big clubs in those leagues… maybe the level is not close but for sake of wages it would place us in similar levels…

    It would also prevent us from losing guys like Parkhurst, Rolfe, Califf etc to Scandinavian or 2nd Division lower tier clubs

    Lets hope for 5 million+ by Jan 2015!

  67. Edwin in LA says:

    If you never paid attention to Maurice Edu’s games game casts and score sheets you should know who he is.

  68. Tom Petty says:

    no, it’s not…here we go again ranking leagues

  69. coop says:

    Are you suggesting that Houston isn’t a big city? Also Dynamo received a 1st round draft pick, not #1 pick. The draft order has not been determined yet.

  70. Theo says:

    This puts Portland in the upper echelon talentwise. The defense should be improved with Mosquera and Jean-Baptiste and they will get goals with Boyd.

    Now, thy have to back it up on the pitch and win some road games.

  71. evan says:

    ha ha i wouldnt wanna live in Houston either

  72. RAMONE says:

    Remains to be seen. More attention has been paid to defensive signings this off season than any other position in Portland. The D was better the second half with Chabala and Palmer than it was at the start with Wallace and Hall. Brought in new blood in the center with Mosquera and Jean-Baptiste (though I suspect the later is a project). That leaves Bruner / Danso really the only two fighting it out for the other central defense spot who saw starting action last year. Horst is hurt and won’t be back until mid season.

    Definately could use an upgrade at R back (Palmer) but hopefully with some experience together he can work with Chara and Marcelin better than they did at times last year (keystone cops at times).

  73. The Imperative Voice says:

    The problem with non-drafted strikers is I think you tend to get what you pay for. Houston is honestly a tad cheap with their salaries, out there picking around the rubbish pile for players like Dalglish, Akinbiyi, Caraccio, Koke, and Costly. Dalglish had a nice run of a couple months — off the bench mind you — and Koke was probably hard done by because of how his tiki-taka style fit in a long ball 442. But generally we’ve been cheap about signing forwards and so since 2007 we’ve struggled for offensive punch. We did make the finals but in both 09 and 11 we went out to LA because we literally could not score. I don’t think we have a good enough defense yet to assume a shutout and play for PKs. We need scoring if we want silverware.

    One thing Houston once did well was picking up players like Jaqua who were second or third tier US players, but I think MLS has changed in terms of how easy it is to just sign some returning American.

    Personally I think we need to splurge on a F but I don’t think that’s how DK sees it.

  74. blag says:

    Well its not that they are not willing to spend the money, its that half of the ownership is unwilling to give them extra money because they are giving it to the galaxy. I do not have hard facts to support this, but I believe AEG gives the dynamo the minimum amount of what MLS requires. And over the last couple years we have seen some offers go by from Houston that were D.P. or close to D.P. money for people they wanted but never got. However, they do not necessarily need to spend money just to spend money, they just need to be picking up quality players, and right now we currently do not see that.

  75. bryan says:

    i agree. i read that and literally couldn’t believe it. what a crap policy. Houston discovered Boyd…HAHA, what a joke

  76. bryan says:

    at least call it the “Dibs” rule.

  77. The Imperative Voice says:

    I’m not sure. I’ve heard other people suggest that AEG footdrags on DPs or big money signings for Houston but AEG/Leiwecke were the ones saying Go Big in the press. I have no inside information but we have been so consistent about our personnel approach that I’m more inclined to believe what I have said, which is that I think we lowball targets, tell them they can have a contract through mid-summer or the remainder of the season, and then offer an improved salary past that post if they prove their worth. But few of the players survive the trial period….Koke quit before we canned him in July last year. If you want to speak directly you mention the trial period, which I recall hearing about with players other than Koke last year. If you prefer to be nice, you just kind of say it’s a hot place, few will question that.

    I also think they are developing a habit of perseverating. Second pass at Sanchez, second pass at Boniek, some of the names aren’t even new. Even Camargo was a second pass, and Watson was brought back in during the season after his preseason offers were deemed too high.

    I agree money does not equal quality but we were paying DP-level money for Ching (subject to allocation or something?), it’s not like the cap hit isn’t already there. The elite may want LA or NY but I’m thinking more about the next Emilio (who was in Honduras), who might be more like Costly or Ching’s price, but won’t be cheap. I just don’t believe anyone productive we get not through trade or draft is going to be cheap. It’s like QB or pitcher, or #10, people pay a premium for talent.

  78. Dj says:

    Are you serious? You don’t have to trust Kinnear to know that this post is absurd. Hasn’t won since 2007? Constantly sloughs the forward position?

  79. Joamiq says:

    I was going to say the same thing.

    If he’s scared of the Texas heat in the summer, he’s going to get eaten alive in MLS. This ain’t no picnic.