Portland, Oregon (November 16th, 2017) – The Portland Timbers and Caleb Porter have reportedly agreed to a mutual separation. The shocking news comes just weeks after the Timbers were knocked out of the 2017 MLS Cup Playoffs after a first place regular season finish in the Western Conference.
Caleb Porter Out as Manager of the Portland Timbers
According to FourFourTwo’s Paul Tenorio, who initially broke the story, Portland Timbers owner, Merritt Paulson, and Porter reached a mutual agreement to end Porter’s time with the Timbers. Porter posted a 68-50-58 in his time since coming on as their head coach in 2013. His accolades with the Timbers include two first place finishes and an MLS Cup in 2015. But the glaring 2014 and 2016 postseason misses, combined with this year’s first round exit probably wasn’t setting well with ownership.
A few players the club had put money into have failed to truly develop, in Dairon Asprilla and Lucas Melano. Throw in the consistent defensive issues over the past two seasons, Merritt Paulson sure had some motive to move on, especially if they felt the club should’ve performed much higher than they actually did.
It’s still unsure of where Porter will head, or who the favorite to replace Porter will be, but plenty have their ideas. We’ll keep you updated on this as the story develops. The club is set to make a formal announcement on Friday morning.
Final Thoughts and Last Words
Caleb Porter is one of the first successful college coaches to enter the professional ranks, and be a successful coach at the MLS level in many years. That pipeline hasn’t necessarily been explored enough. However, Porter’s teams still had some significant flaws. Defensively, there was nothing resolute.
Their game plan was mainly centered on getting the ball to playmakers they purchased and hoping something came to a natural fruition. Sound tactics have never been a part of what Porter has done well. But nonetheless, Porter was able to get the most out of players like Will Johnson, an older Ryan Johnson, Diego Chara, and Darlington Nagbe. It will be interesting to see what the Timbers do to replace him. There are plenty of names out there, so we’ll see the direction they go.
In terms of Porter’s future, it seems unknown. Of course he’d want a shot at the National Team, but that job wouldn’t be nailed down until February, after USSF has a president set for the next few years. There are going to be expansion team options in the coming months, as well as one more MLS vacancy, the Colorado Rapids. Those don’t sound enticing enough to lure Porter away though, so the question is if there is something bigger? A move abroad? Who knows. But this is certainly one of the most shocking moves in recent coaching move history for MLS.