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UPDATED: Caleb Porter moves on from Timbers after five years

Caleb Porter’s tenure as Portland Timbers head coach has come to an end.

FourFourTwo USA reported on Thursday night that Porter was on his way out, and the club confirmed the move on Friday morning.

“I would like to begin by giving special thanks to my owner and friend Merritt Paulson for providing me with the opportunity to lead the Portland Timbers these past five seasons,” Porter said in the club statement. “Also, a big thanks to Hank and Wendy Paulson, Heather Paulson and Gavin Wilkinson for the incredible support they have shown me, and for their tireless efforts on behalf of the Timbers. Everyone has made me and my family feel a part of the Timbers family from day one, and words truly can’t express my gratitude for what this has meant to me.”

“During Caleb’s five seasons with our club, we reached new heights and accomplished great things together,” Timbers owner Merritt Paulson said. “His commitment, passion and talent were essential in bringing many on-field successes to our supporters, our club and our city, most notably our first MLS Cup. More than that, he has been a friend whom I have enjoyed working with.”

“I respect Caleb’s decision to seek his next challenge. He leaves Portland with a lasting legacy valued by everyone associated with the club, and I wish him nothing but success in the future,” Paulson continued. “With our next on-field leader, we look forward to building on the Timbers’ winning tradition and to setting the course for even greater achievements in the seasons ahead. Caleb leaves a strong club foundation and we are well-positioned to manage this departure.”

Porter was hired as Timbers coach in 2013, when he led them to the top seed in the Western Conference before losing in the conference final to Real Salt Lake. Portland returned to the playoffs two years later and won the MLS Cup under Porter’s leadership.

This year, in his final season in charge, they finished atop the Western Conference in the regular season before an injury hampered squad fell to the Houston Dynamo in the Western Conference Semi-Finals.

Overall, Porter was 68-50-52 as Portland’s head coach.


    • Yeah, I gotta think someone is throwing some money at him.

      He took a team and made them a winner from day one. Others want that. I don’t think it is NT. No reason not to announce that right away.

      He is too smart to go to Europe. Bradley showed how that turns out. We have zero chance of winning with or without you and we are going to fire you for not winning, after two months.

      Whoever it is, it will happen quickly, as we are about to start next season in a few weeks.

      • Bradley didn’t even get a chance to pick his own guys up in the transfer window.

        He inherited a mess, coached for 11 games, and was switching lineups and players and taking a GOOD look at the dregs on his bench because he wanted to assess what he had and where it belonged before he got to the winter transfer window…and people freaked. He didn’t even get to the window, never even got a chance to bring in his own guys, and the owners caved to public pressure and threw him under the bus. And of course the next coach benefited from the experimenting Bradley had been doing. (And the English press duly dubbed Bradley “an adventurous coach who randomly sifts lineups without any notion of tactics or identity”, whereas over here we call him “Bunker Bob”. Go figure.)

        Ridiculous. Equally ridiculous that somehow people judge him for 11 whole games, when he did not get a chance to bring in a single one of his own guys and inherited a dumpster fire of someone else’s making.

  1. Yeah, I thought he did a great job for Portland, but I’m not sure he’s ready for the senior USMNT gig, if that’s where this his headed. Would love for his to test himself in Europe, recognizing he would have to start at the lower rungs of coaching over there.

    • I’m a Portland fan and possibly Caleb-biased, but look back at that team. There is one guy who five years later is still in the national team picture (Villafana). The other players on the team that got senior team playing time have all faded (Kitchen, Corona, Adu, Shea, Diskerud, Boyd, Agudelo). Compare that to the 2008 team, which had Orozco, Bradley, McCarty, Edu, Holden, Davies, Feilhaber, Altidore, Kljestan. He underperformed but the team was also just not very good.

      • Who selected that team?

        I don’t know much about that team, just thinking he had to be the guy who chose no?

      • Even if he did pick the team, he didn’t leave a ton of talent on the table. Here’s a list of guys who were born in 1989-1993 (so would have been 18-22 at qualifying time) with 10 or more USMNT caps and weren’t on the team:

        Jozy Altidore (already graduated to senior team)
        Omar Gonzalez (already graduated to senior team)
        John Brooks (still playing for Germany)
        Danny Williams (playing for senior team)
        Eric Lichaj (playing for senior team)
        Timothy Chandler (had played US friendly, unclear if interested or would have been released)
        Darlington Nagbe (not yet a citizen)
        Aron Johannsson (still playing for Iceland)
        Bobby Wood (a 19-year-old with three appearances in the 2.Bundesliga)
        DeAndre Yedlin (a freshman at Akron)
        Gyasi Zardes (a sophomore at Cal-State Bakersfield)
        Alfredo Morales (playing in the 5th division in Germany)
        Steve Birnbaum (a sophomore at Cal)
        Greg Garza (on the bench in Portugal)
        Ventura Alvarado (in Club America’s academy, had not declared for US)

        So Wood, Yedlin, and Zardes were the big misses, and all of them were 19 or younger.

    • I also wonder that too. He has a good blend of coaching, his program is more ball control which I like. I didn’t like when he used to play favorites to a fault. The selection of starting Bunbury as forward when clearly he was in a slump instead of Boyd in the Olys showed that he was over his head. If he becomes the NT coach prepared to see lots of Nagbe.

    • NO!

      first – nobody should be hired until after the elections.

      second – his track record in concacaf is terrible. over reliance on players he knew in his ncaa days is a joke and he is seriously under qualified for the national team job. So many good candidates out there, patience!

    • Basing hiring decisions on abilities of six years ago doesn’t seem wise. Claiming he relied on his NCAA players is revisionist history as well, everyone on the squad were professionals during the qualifying tournament. Joe Corona led the way, he never played in college along with others like Mix Diskerud, Freddy Adu, and Brek Shea. As far Bunbury vs Boyd, Boyd at the time had not played a match above the German 4th Division and had made just one 11 minute appearance with the USMNT. Bunbury had just begun his season with SKC, since qualifying was in March but its hard to consider not scoring during the offseason a slump. Porter wouldn’t be my first choice either, but judging it based on his performance with U23s isn’t fair.

  2. You mean an American, who accepts accountability? the old-good boy network must be pissed for showing them up. How many promotions is Richie Williams going to get after failing?


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