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Crew fire Caleb Porter as head coach

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The Columbus Crew failed to reach the MLS Playoffs in both seasons since lifting MLS Cup, forcing a head coaching change on Monday.

Caleb Porter was fired as head coach of the Crew following the Eastern Conference club’s Decision Day loss to Orlando City. Porter posted a 45-43-37 regular season record from 2019-22, leading the Crew to MLS Cup in 2020 and the Campeones Cup in 2021.

The Crew failed to reach the MLS Cup Playoffs this season after tying 10 of their last 18 league matches. Despite losing only three matches since the start of July, the Crew lost 24 points this regular season from winning positions, which was ranked among the top-five in MLS in 2022.
 
“This is not a decision we took lightly, and I need to first and foremost thank Caleb for his tireless efforts for the Crew during his four seasons with the Club,” said Crew President and General Manager Tim Bezbatchenko. “He joined the club ahead of 2019 and provided steady leadership at a critical moment of historic transition for the Crew. Caleb will forever be a part of Black & Gold history as the second star above our crest from 2020 is a testament to his contributions and what we were able to bring home during a special year.”
 
“We assessed the 2022 season as a whole and it’s clear that we fell short in our collective goals,” he added. “Namely, our goal is to consistently contend for championships. This starts with making the playoffs and then securing a home match as a top-four team in the conference. We all share in the responsibility of the results and unmet objectives this season, including myself. As part of our evaluation, we believe that we have a talented core of our roster in place and felt we needed to make a change this offseason as we position ourselves for success in 2023 and beyond.” 

Assistant coaches Pablo Moreira, Tim Hanley, Eric Quill and Blair Gavin will not be returning to the Crew in 2023. The Crew will begin their search for a new head coach immediately.

Comments

  1. Hesitate to comment because I wasn’t able to watch the Crew much this season, but season ticket holder friends have all been frustrated with decisions and tactics late in the season, particularly after the arrival of Cucho gave the team such a lift. Also, the roster is aging, with several starters on the wrong side of 30. Probably the right time to go in a new direction. Porter always rubbed me the wrong way for some reason, although I have heard of a couple off the field kindnesses from him. In any case, the next USMNT manager needs to have a real established resume of success internationally or in UEFA CL. No more newbies, not with our projected talent for 2026.

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    • As a Crew fan I’d be shocked if he came back to Columbus. I’m not sure he even comes back to MLS. I see somewhere in the Championship where team quality is pretty similar and he feels he could influence the game. Perhaps back to the Netherlands.

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      • Gregg should go back to Germany. He was a frickin hero at Energie Cottbus (Angela Merkel’s favorite team) where , as captain, he led them to promotion to the BL.

        They aren’t in the BL anymore but a German club would suit Gregg much more than the USMNT .

  2. This kind of accountability is what clubs and organizations in the US soccer system have to adhere to in order to improve the standard and quality of our league. Even though we do not have ” relegation and Ascension” in our soccer system there should be no room for mediocrity, complacency and the lack of urgency when it comes to team performance and achievements….for both players and coaching staff.

    I like Porter (ever since he pissed off Pep Guardiola lol) but in recent years he’s been really off.

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    • Last year was pretty bad, but you could blame it on the huge amount of injuries. This year it was painful as a Crew fan. You knew as soon as we were up in the 2nd half that we were just going to “ice the puck” for the final 30-35 minutes. That strategy failed over and over and over yet Porter wouldn’t change. If your the owners and you’ve spent big money on Cucho and Zelarayan you can’t sit by when he’s made the playoffs once in 4 years.

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  3. Porter is a selfish clown with a bad attitude, I had the unpleasant exp meeting him when I went to Akron mens soccer camp senior year of high school in 2009. The turf in the indoor field made me and other players have painful blisters. I could not even walk they were so painful, how can I run and kick a.ball? Smh He will ne picked up bu another MLS team.

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      • Porter as the USMNT manager?

        Maybe some of you remember when Claudio Reyna named him to be the manager of the Olympic qualifying team back in 2012. He retained his duties as manager at Akron so he was a part time manager and it really showed.

        I saw those Olympic qualifiers and those teams were an awful disorganized mess.

        Granted that was a while ago but Caleb came across as a younger, less capable and more arrogant version of Arena.

        It left a really strong impression

  4. One playoff appearance in four years is not good enough even if that one was an MLS Cup. The roster does need an upgrade to the bench players and a more skillful winger. Etienne was good down the stretch but he and Diaz need a ton of chances to score 1.

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