Steve Clark signs with Houston Dynamo FC

by Charlie Folkestad

Former Portland Timbers goalkeeper Steve Clark has signed a free agent contract with Houston Dynamo FC. Dynamo Insider first broke the news this morning before its confirmation by Tom Bogert.

Clark announced his departure from Portland yesterday via Instagram and paid his final respects to the club today. The Dynamo made their announcement official today as well.

Clark’s Timbers legacy

Clark logged 26 clean sheets in 92 total appearances across six different competitions for the Timbers after joining the club midway through the 2018 season. Houston will be his fourth MLS stop — Columbus (where he infamously lost to Portland in MLS Cup 2015), D.C. United, Portland, and now Houston.

Clark will be remembered as a solid goalkeeper for a club which has boasted some of the league’s best since joining MLS in 2011. Donovan Ricketts, Adam Kwarasey, and even Jeff Attinella have played massive roles in some of MLS’ best teams.

Portland’s back line was one of the worst in MLS for much of 2021. Despite this, Clark often saved the Timbers’ skins down the stretch. He played a crucial role in bringing Portland to MLS Cup despite a tough showing in the final itself.

Clark finished second in save percentage (78.2%) among MLS goalkeepers in 2021. He graded out well in advanced stats, too: Clark’s post-shot expected goal plus-minus (+4.1) was fourth in the league this season.

Clark was one of the league-high five goalkeepers used by the Timbers in 2021; along with Aljaz Ivacic, Logan Ketterer, Jeff Attinella, and Hunter Sulte.

Roster impact

This is a logical move from a roster management perspective. No team needs four goalkeepers. Portland already has Attinella and Sulte signed for next season and are in discussions with Ivacic.

Attinella is a clear capable No. 1 ‘keeper if he’s healthy. The other two still seem a little rough around the edges, but they’ll work in a pinch.

Ultimately, this is a money move. Clark is 35 already and it probably didn’t take much for Houston to outbid the Timbers for him.

 

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