(Reuters) - Portland Timbers have signed former Newcastle United center half Steven Taylor, the Major League Soccer club said on Monday.

The 30-year-old Taylor made 10 Premier League appearances last season but could not help Newcastle avoid relegation from England's top flight.

Taylor was a free agent after his contract expired at Newcastle, who were relegated to the English championship (second tier).

"Steven Taylor gives us a proven piece that can step into our backline and perform immediately," coach Caleb Porter told the club's website (


"His experience and leadership will be very important to our team down the stretch."

MLS Cup champions Portland Timbers, who lost to Sporting Kansas City 1-0 on Sunday, are seventh in the Western Conference standings.

(Reporting by Ian Rodricks in Bengaluru; editing by Sudipto Ganguly)

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