After days of speculation, the Portland Timbers named Caleb Porter as the club’s head coach starting in the 2013 season. Porter will became the Timbers second coach since joining MLS. Porter is leaving the University of Akron after seven seasons, where he has become one of the most successful coaches in NCAA history. He also recently served as the head coach of the U.S. U-23 National Team, which disappointed in not qualifying for the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.
Porter, 37, will remain the head coach at Akron through the 2012 NCAA season. He will assume his role with the Timbers and be introduced formally as the club’s second MLS head coach at a news conference in Portland in December.
Caleb Porter: “I am truly excited and honored to be provided this unique opportunity to coach the Portland Timbers, an organization that in a short-time has established itself as a model franchise in Major League Soccer. I know that Merritt and Gavin are committed to long-term success for the Timbers and come December, I will be completely focused and driven to continue building a professional club in which the Timbers supporters, city and organization will be proud of. In the meantime, out of respect to the Akron program, I will not be commenting further on this matter until after the conclusion of the 2012 college season.”
Timbers General Manager Gavin Wilkinson: “Caleb is ambitious and one of the most respected coaches in the nation. He has consistently developed and produced talented players who have gone on to excel in MLS. We feel that his mentality, personality, skill set and coaching philosophy are a tremendous fit with the culture of the Timbers organization and we’re excited to bring Caleb on as the Timbers head coach.”
Timbers Owner Merritt Paulson: “Put simply, I believe Caleb Porter is the best young soccer coaching mind in the country. He is the right fit for the Timbers on every level. We went through an exhaustive and thorough search over the last couple months where we spoke with some truly excellent candidates, but Caleb quickly emerged as the consensus target. We look forward to 2013 and beyond with Caleb at our helm.”