Ex-Newcastle defender Steven Taylor to leave MLS club and return to Europe
Former Newcastle United defender Steven Taylor is heading back across the Atlantic.
Taylor is leaving Portland Timbers after a half-season spell in Major League Soccer after his contract at the club was terminated by mutual agreement.
And the experienced 30-year-old – who has been fit throughout his time at Providence Park – will be a free agent in next month's transfer window.
Timbers general manager Gavin Wilkinson said: "We appreciate Steven’s contributions while in Portland and wish him all the best."
In a statement, Taylor said: "I'd like to thank everyone at Portland Timbers for an unforgettable few months on and off the field.
"Firstly, I've got to thank Merritt Paulson and Gavin Wilkinson for giving me the opportunity to represent such a fantastic club as well as Caleb Porter, my team-mates and all the staff.
"Caleb is a top-class coach and I loved playing for him. There's a great locker room at the club and the players made me feel at home from day one.
"The backroom team have also been brilliant with me. I've never felt fitter. I didn't miss a day's training and I loved coming to work every day.
"Also, I want to thank the Timbers Army for their support on the pitch and in the city.
"They were so welcoming and so supportive. I loved playing for them.
I thoroughly enjoyed my time in Portland, and the club, the people and city couldn’t have done more for me. I was proud to pull on the jersey and represent the club, especially in such a special place to play like Providence Park.
"While I will be returning to the other side of the Atlantic, I wish the Timbers and their supporters all the best as I continue following them and supporting them from afar."
Taylor – who made nine MLS appearances for Portland – is understood to be returning to Europe for personal reasons.
The former England Under-21 international left St James's Park as a free agent in the summer after a 13-year first-team career at the club.
Taylor made 268 appearances for Newcastle, who offered him a deal to stay at St James's Park at the end of last season.