Slumping Timbers fire Spencer (updated)

Slumping Timbers fire Spencer (updated)

MLS- Portland Timbers

Slumping Timbers fire Spencer (updated)

John Spencer (Getty Images)

MLS has claimed its third head-coaching casualty of the year, and it is the Portland Timbers' John Spencer.

Spencer has been shown the exit door in Portland after a disappointing first half of the 2012 season that has the 5-8-4 Timbers in second-to-last place in the Western Conferece. A press conference is scheduled for Monday afternoon and Timbers owner/president Merritt Paulson is expected to make an official announcement.

(UPDATE- Paulson named general manager Gavin Wilkinson interim head coach while the Timbers conduct a search for a long-term replacement. The 38-year-old Wilkinson has been with the organization since its inaugural United Soccer Leagues season in 2001. Wilkinson has served as a head coach for the Timbers previously, compiling a 50-29-39 record from 2007-2010.)

The Timbers were 16-22-13 under Spencer, their first coach since joining MLS in 2011, but they have been one of the most dismal teams in the league this year with 16 goals scored and 24 surrendered in 17 matches. Portland is coming off a 3-0 defeat to Real Salt Lake in which all three goals were netted in the second half.

Spencer joins former Toronto FC head coach Aron Winter and Philadelphia Union boss Peter Nowak as the first three managers to be fired this season.

What do you make of this development? Who would you like to see permanently replace Spencer? How do you look back on his time with the club? Think Wilkinson will have some success while the club searches for a long-term replacement?

Share your thoughts below.

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