The Portland Timbers’ disappointing exit in Leagues Cup paired with a lopsided MLS loss in Houston has led to a major change in the club’s coaching staff.
Giovanni Savarese was released from his duties as head coach, the Timbers announced Monday. Assistant coach Miles Joseph will serve as interim head coach for the remainder of the 2023 MLS season.
“Gio has been an exceptional coach for the Timbers and a joy to work with,” owner Merritt Paulson shared. “He has achieved some fabulous results during his tenure with the club, including two MLS Cup appearances and the MLS is Back championship. I want to thank Gio for all that he has given us. He will be missed.”
Savarese, a native of Venezuela, joined the Timbers prior to the 2018 MLS season, compiling a 74-62-47 record in five-and-a-half seasons at the helm. He led Portland to MLS Cup appearances in 2018 and 2021, however the Timbers lost to Atlanta United and NYCFC respectively in those finals.
Savarese is the winningest coach in Timbers history and also guided them to the playoffs in four-consecutive years from 2018-2021.
The Timbers currently have a 6-10-8 record in league play, sitting 12th in the 14-team Western Conference. Their 1-5-7 road record is the third-worst in the West with only eight points earned away from Providence Park.
“We are incredibly grateful for the commitment that Gio has given to the Portland Timbers over that last six seasons, and it has been an honor to have had the chance to work with him,” said general manager Ned Grabavoy. “His success during his time with the club speaks for itself, and we wish Gio the best moving forward.
“I believe the club is ready for a new direction and voice to help lead us forward. Miles Joseph will take over as interim head coach as we begin our process to identify who will help lead our team in the years ahead. This moment serves as a chance for our club to reset, with a goal of reestablishing our ability to consistently compete at the highest level.”