Report: Timbers to announce Porter as head coach on Wednesday

Caleb Porter 1 (

The Portland Timbers wanted Caleb Porter, and the second-year MLS club has reportedly gotten the coach they set out to hire as their permanent replacement for John Spencer.

Portland radio station KPAM 860 reported on Tuesday night that Portland would announce Porter as the team's new head coach on Wednesday. There are no details yet on when Porter would take over as Timbers head coach, but there is a possibility Porter will be allowed to finish out the current 2012 NCAA season as head coach of Akron, the current No. 1 team in the SBI College Soccer rankings.

Sources have told SBI that Portland considered some other veteran options, such as Preki, Mike Lapper, and some other familiar names such as Claudio Reyna and Richie Williams, but ultimately settled on Porter. Sources say Timbers owner Merritt Paulson was the driving force behind the selection of Porter over more experienced options.

What do you think of the hire? See Porter succeeding with the Timbers? Who would you have hired if you were making the decision?

Share your thoughts below.

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88 Responses to Report: Timbers to announce Porter as head coach on Wednesday

  1. somedude says:

    Excited to see how he develops Mwanga and Nagbe.

  2. mcfly says:

    Somewhere Jurgen is smiling . He wanted this for Porter bad

  3. Travis says:

    Little bit surprised that Porter would take this gig, he had it made at Akron and I am sure another MLS gig would come along in no time for him. Portland is going nowhere fast at the moment.

  4. VillageIdiot says:

    I like it if he finishes the season at Akron. Kind of d*ck*sh if he leaves now.

  5. Jamie Z. says:

    I like it!

  6. chris says:

    Great hire but now I have to root for Portland

  7. Harth says:

    I was initially surprised too, but he will have a supportive GM, an owner that wants to win and is willing to go out and get players to do it, while coaching and living in a pretty decent city with a rabid fanbase, all in a beautiful part of the world. And he inherits a core group of quality young players, another high draft pick, and reasonable expectations for next year (I would hope). With the right digits on the paycheck, that’s not a bad working environment.

  8. Mike says:

    He can’t do worse than he did with the U-23 team. -_-

  9. RobotDeathSquad says:

    Only way Porter is successful, at least in the next 2 seasons, is if they get rid of GW and install someone experienced as GM.

  10. John says:

    Why would you leave a 300K 10 year contract to go to sack happy MLS?

  11. mcm says:

    Very smart analysis.

  12. Ben says:

    Did anyone ever make a gif of the Porter sad face after the U-23s crashed out of qualifying? That was a priceless look.

  13. bcoug says:

    You took the words right out of my mouth – this is a great situation for Porter. The situation in Portland is bad but they have a rabid fanbase that is just waiting for someone to come in and be their hero.

  14. Louis Z says:

    Porter is good at getting his players playing an attractive game, his problems is he has no idea what 90 minute and only 3 subs mean and that maybe another player he doesn’t already know may be better for a given position on the field. Wish him the best.

  15. Kejsare says:

    Quotes out today at Timbers training show that Porter well come on in December but the author didn’t know that bit.

  16. Ryan says:

    How can Wilkinson stay on at general manager? He’s been nothing but a disaster.

  17. James says:


    It’s sad to see the once proud Timbers (lol), stoop to this loser. Not even they deserve this

  18. rusty says:

    Paulson did it to appease the TA.. so they would still show up to matches this year

  19. Vic El Paso texas says:

    Seriously timbers, i expected Orlando city or cosmos or even him leaving to europe for some experience since he is young and ambitious. I would have gone for rapids excoach or even a European coach. In reality who would not coach the timbers? I would have gone gone for javier aguirre, the Mexican coach who has no job due because he wants to coach in England or Spain but he gets poor offers. He has connections and the brains, from world cup to champions and he knows English. Timbers would have love him

  20. SNIFFLE says:

    Gavin Wilkinson is Portlands own Wally Walker

  21. Larry says:

    brilliant choice

    Porter is the best young coach the U.S has. Has more football knowledge in his pinky than most current MLS managers.

  22. Ryan says:

    If he’s so good why couldn’t he get our Olympic team out of a group with El Salvador, Cuba, and Canada.

  23. Rick says:

    lol the Porter haters.

  24. Rick says:

    laughing at you by the way.

  25. John-UVa says:

    I can understand some of the criticism due to his shortcomings with the U-23 team but I think all U.S fans should be pulling for him. He is very young and undeniably talented, and developing reputable coaches is to the benefit of our entire program

  26. Larry says:

    the players didn’t perform. Horrendous goalkeeping.

    Alex Ferguson failed as Scotland manager early in his career.

    You don’t always have success the first time.

  27. Dustin says:

    I don’t think there’s anything to say he’s undeniably talented. He’s a good NCAA coach, but that’s hardly a high level. Youth teams from other more serious Footballing countries would destroy any NCAA team. So he still has to prove himself in a different arena. I think this is a good challenge.

  28. Kent says:

    Porter is undeniably talented but it was his poor management that cost the U23’s their chance at the Olympics.

    His strict adherance to the 4-3-3 during the qualification phase was a shortcoming as he needed to adjust the gameplan throughout the games.

    His favoritism of certain players prevented the US from fielding its strongest lineup.

    I do like him but he still has a lot to learn from what we’ve all seen from him.

  29. Grant says:

    Dustin, I respectfully disagree. Akron went on a tour of Spain about two years ago and played the U-20 teams of many of the Spanish powerhouses and lost only one match if my memory serves me right.

    With that being said, you’re right….Porter will need to prove himself. I think he’s a good coach and taking himself to the next level will be a challenge for him tactically.

  30. Lorenzo says:

    No disrespect to Akron, but if you are a good coach do you really think you should stay at a college program? No, you want to see how high a level you can coach. But you also realize no one is handing a young college coach the job of a EPL team or what have you, so a jump to MLS is obviously the next step, especially for an American.

    I am very interested to see how he does, but I’m not so sure he’ll kock it out of the park like some do.

  31. Gerald says:

    I’m surprised by this but we will see

  32. kfree says:

    self confidence, ambition and xy chromosome

  33. Shane says:

    From what I have seen Porter values the supporters culture more than anything. He did his best to make Akron an intimidating home fortress. That is why he took the gig. Portland fans should pat themselves on the back because they are the reason he is coming to their fair city. We may be witnessing the beginning of a dynasty. And I expect to see grass installed a Jen Weld (or whatever the name is)

    Porter did a ton for Akron and can walk away feeling incredibly proud. He took that program, and that university as far as he could take them. And he was still getting paid less than the guy who coaches their crappy basketball team.

  34. Shane says:

    And what is this based on?

  35. Shane says:

    This was all Klinsmann not Porter. That Olympic team did not look like a Porter coached team. And then Klinsmann blames on the kids -what a royal a$$h*!@

  36. Eric says:

    You know that we play 90 minutes in college right? Also, while you’re right that college rules do allow more than three subs in a match (including players being allowed to come back into the game during the second half) I believe both Porter himself and former players have stated that he rarely goes beyond three subs. Porter has stated in the past that he tries to run Akron as close to a professional envrionment as possible and that inlcudes his subbing patterns as well.

  37. kB says:

    who said he was good

  38. Pkr says:

    Spencer also had supportive GM and owner.The question is haw long does he last in Portland?No wins no Porter.

  39. Pkr says:

    There is a big difference between college soccer and professional soccer even if you talking about weak MLS.

  40. Pkr says:

    who cares about stupid Akron.If he wants to be a coach in MLS he has to star now.Forget about college soccer.Poulson wants hem now.

  41. Pkr says:

    He can do much worse my friend.

  42. Pkr says:

    why you thinks so?

  43. John says:

    A. Scotland doesn’t have a decent talent pool and B. SAF stepped in when the manager died before the 86 World Cup.

  44. Rory says:

    He needs this to grow as a coach, we will see if he is more than a recruiter or if the worst Olympic qualifying campaign we’ve ever had was down to him and his tactics.

  45. LoL says:

    don’t be stupid Porter just fu*ked up with olympic qualification that’s a fact.

  46. Rory says:

    So is Toronto, but nobody’s been up to that task

  47. Harth says:

    Agree with your point. But the question was more along the lines of “why would Porter take that job?”

  48. Dave says:

    Was Porter really pulling down 300K per annum at Akron?

  49. Jurgen Klinsmann says:

    This is the bum that had players like Boyd, Okugo and Williams on the bench while players like Bunbury and SArkodie were getting run over. He was a joke.

  50. Eugene says:

    Good hire. Now Porter will have to step-up and demonstrate that he can be successful on a professional level. This is kind of a make-or-break assignment for him.

  51. t says:

    MLS is not weak, you lost all credibility. When a bad, and I mean really bad TFC CLUB. pushes a good Santos team in the CCL, I think it shows MLS is not weak, but getting better. I have issue with that a team like TFC, can get into this tournament, when they suck, but this is CONCACAF.

  52. Lincoln says:

    Possibly an improvement over Spencer, based purely on his reputation. For me, Reyna was the most interesting coach mentioned in the article.

  53. Olly says:

    Great hire for Portland. He’s going to be a very good coach in this league. If anything, the Olympic qualifying experience is probably a plus for him. You learn more from failure than success quite often. Good luck to him. I really want him and his style of football to succeed in MLS.

  54. Eurosnob says:

    You are right, but the big question is whether there are enough players on Portland’s current roster who are capable to play possession oriented soccer that Porter teaches? If there are enough good spare parts on this roster, Porter will do well.

  55. 99 says:

    Akron’s no destination spot.

  56. thomas says:

    Now who’s going to replace Pareja in the Denver, ahem, hot-seat?

  57. Eurosnob says:

    Louis, I think the three subs rule will actually benefit Porter’s teams, which play possession soccer and control the ball. The team that defends and chases the ball will be tired at the end of 90 minutes and won’t be able to sub more than 3 players.

  58. Shane says:

    And less successful NCAA coaches have done very well in MLS

  59. John says:

    Yes. Plus car allowance of 800 bucks a month.

  60. Shane says:

    aguirre behaves like a jackass. No self-respecting MLS team would want him.

  61. 99 says:

    Does anyone know how many college coaches have moved to MLS ranks?
    Arena, Bradley, …?
    I’m just curious at how successful the transitions have been.
    Not that it has any bearing on Porter.

  62. The Imperative Voice says:

    I hope this is like a “pre-signing” a la Richards to Burnley because leaving a college program in August would be obnoxious, the kids he recruited to the random school of Akron deserve at least one season of what they thought they signed up for, and it’s too late to transfer by now, they’re already in the regular season.

    I’ll be interested to see how he fares at Portland, and I think the Olympics underlined the quality of the CONCACAF sides. However, he didn’t even make it to the level of the ones qualified, and his personnel and tactical choices seemed questionable. Beyond the usual offensive critiques (Gyau?), I’d throw in the inability to come up with anything to win Canada, the inability to come up with a strategy to close out or even slow down ES, and the fact that he seemed oblivious to the lack of quality in his defense. With all the quality he had on offense, the inability to patch together a better defense capable of even emerging from group play (given months to do so) makes me wonder if he can transition from college recruiting to the pro game.

    But he’ll get this second chance to prove himself and we’ll see what happens.

  63. Gnarls says:

    What’s worse for a U-23 team than missing the Olympics?

  64. Gnarls says:

    Heh, sack happy.

  65. The Imperative Voice says:

    I actually think it can have a bearing, sometimes coaching college and building a program over and over that wins suggests a pro program builder. Arena and Bradley were pretty good at building teams whereever they went.

    Hyndman. SMU. Is another college coach of less success. There are probably others.

    It splits between college coaches and former pro players usually. There are some Kreises and Olsons and some Arenas and Bradleys, etc. They both have their merits. Pro coaches know that level and may understand the pro mentality better. But some are too much of the player’s coach. Sometimes college coaches with more experience ruthlessly carving teams out of recruiting classes are better at putting together an 11. No Arena team sucks for long.

  66. VillageIdiot says:

    Because if it doesn’t work for you in MLS you can go right back to college and get the same or better deal at an even bigger school. Like Nick Saban in college throwball.

  67. James says:

    This is a good hire if you are a Timber fan. However, lets be honest that roster is not good. They need more stars in a very bad way. He is going to have a hard time winning with that crap.

  68. Old School says:

    Also excited.

    I’m not buying he’s the worst Olympic Manager we’ve ever had. I think our squad quality was grossly overrated, to be honest.

    He’s been successful as a manager. We can all fairly question the level he’s been successful at but he HAS been successful.

    Excited to see if that translates to this level.

  69. Steve says:

    He still gets paid if they fire him…

  70. louis z says:

    but once you (him) brings players back on the field it defeats the whole concept that you are trying to point to.

  71. louis z says:

    I think he is going to have to adjust to rely more beyond his starting 11 which I think was one of his flaws. Nevertheless, I like what he brings to the game and hopefully he can adjust and be as successful as before.

  72. louis z says:

    can’t agree more.

  73. louis z says:

    ??? how do you figure it was JK’s fault, please elaborate.

  74. whoop-whoop says:

    Straight up- the U23s were playing very well for Porter. Reference the showing against Mexico. The team was definitely hurt by injury and club call-backs. Porter’s mistakes and shortcomings in the Olympic qualifying had quite a lot to do with his lack of experience in a condensed tournament format. I am sure he learned quite a bit by that humbling experience. I think the Portland job is a perfect fit for him, and that he is a great fit for Portland. They are going to have to have some patience though as there just isn’t much to work with on that roster. Porter’s scouting and development of talent is going to be a great asset. Personally, I really enjoy the way he sees and coaches the game. Although I’m from SoCal, I look forward to seeing what he does up there.

  75. TC says:

    As a die hard University of Akron soccer fan this really hurts my heart. We did everything we could to keep him, but sadly his star shined to bright in our little city. I know he’s going to do well in the MLS. It’s just hard to see him do well with the team he is inheriting. At the very least we can say that Portland will never have a bad draft.

  76. Andy says:

    Well lucky for Portland that they don’t have a very talented roster because then he might start the wrong players and cause us not to qualify for the Olympics. Oh, sorry I got off track there, anyways, good luck Timbers.

  77. Kejsare says:

    You clearly didn’t read my comment.

  78. Kejsare says:

    I’ve seen nothing to indicate the TA will not show up. They know they can outlast a GM. Do you realize the TA suffered through being owned by a baseball league? I think they can handle this.

  79. Dustin says:

    I disagree with that…Friendlies don’t count. Also if Akron has such amazing players that can beat the Spanish Youth teams why don’t we do well internationally? Why aren’t more of our players in top teams around the world? It just doesn’t make sense. Were any of the Akron players after that invited to camps in Europe? Nah because they weren’t really competitive situations, they probably faced a C team of the Youth or something.

  80. The Imperative Voice says:

    MEX (vs. US, friendly): 1-Liborio Sanchez, 2-Israel Jimenez, 4-Nestor Araujo, 5-Darvin Chávez, 6-Ricardo Bocanegra (17-Javier Aquino, 46), 7-Javier Cortés, 9-Jeronimo Amione (19-Alan Pulido, 64), 10-Marco Fabian, 14-Jorge Enriquez (8-David Cabrera, 78), 16-Miguel Ponce (18-Hector Herrera, 46), 21-Ricardo Mier (capt.)

    Subs not used: 11-Nestor Calderon, 12-Antonio Rodriguez, 13-Diego Reyes, 15-Jair Barraza, 20-Hugo Rodriguez

    MEX (vs. Brazil, Olympic final):


    (a) Do these teams look all that similar to you?
    (b) Should I really favor a team’s friendly performance over its tournament embarrassment? “Akron sure put up a great conference record before getting showed the door in the first round of NCAA…” so to speak.
    (c) In terms of personnel and scouting, what does it say that he did not seem to react to the poverty of his backline? Didn’t face the music. Went with a Zip (as well as others) who can’t even get decent PT in MLS (Sarkodie). I start to worry about “roll out the ball coach” when a coach’s fortunes seem to wax and wane with the entering classes. The guy at UCLA would be my example. You could hand him Feilhaber and others and he’d look just good enough to keep his job.

  81. abc says:

    PORTER himself publicly said it was the deepest U-23 team we have ever had!

    So is he a liar, and idiot, or a poor evaluater of talent??

    Or just a college coach who has no idea how to manage a roster and rotate players, when faced with three games in the span of one week?

  82. abc says:

    What’s worse?

    – Finishing third in a group with Canada, El Salvador, and Cuba.

    – Doing so at home in front of a pro-US crowd, like say in Nashville.

    – Doing so after having won your first of three games by a 5-0 margin.

    But Porter has already done all of that!

  83. abc says:

    Because reality?

  84. abc says:

    You forgot Zarek Valentin.

    Valentin and Sarkodie, two guys who have done next to nothing in MLS, over guys like Okugo and Sheanon Williams…. nothing like filling a roster with guys who played for you in college….

  85. abc says:

    Bam, owned.

  86. abc says:

    With an MLS team you can only draft guys who are available at your spot in the draft order.
    It’s NOT the same thing as recruiting, where Akron end up with the country’s top draft class…

  87. Ceez says:

    As good a coach as Porter is, I think he’s going to have a hard time adjusting to the professional structure.

    In college, it’s just a matter of selling your school’s program to a talented high school student.

    In the pro’s, money talks. Money, contract length, bonuses, league standings, family matters (moving to a different city), trade security, etc. — all of those factors, and more, factor into a professional’s decision to go to your club or not.

    We shall see.