The Portland Timbers have rewarded Caleb Porter for the impressive job he's done in his first year in charge.
According to a report in SI, Porter has signed a five-year contract extension to remain the head coach of the Timbers, after leading them to first place in the Western Conference making him one of the front runners for the Major League Soccer Coach of the Year award.
2012 was an interesting season for the Portland Timbers, to say the very least about it. What started off on a very high note and a promise of making the 2012 play offs ended in what can only be described as a disaster for everybody involved, including the fans who were left consistently frustrated by game results.
New coach, new players, new outlook: Everything is new this year in Portland after the Timbers hired Caleb Porter to replace John Spencer. Significant roster turnover has brought familiar faces from around MLS as well as two older gentlemen from Europeâ€™s top divisions to implement Porterâ€™s pressing, possession style.
This past year was an eventful year, if nothing else. Even though it's been a slog on the field, it would be difficult for anybody to argue against that. Luckily, we're venturing into a bold new 2013 with an exciting young head coach and some excellent new players to boot. And with the off season not even done yet, there's bound to be an even bigger story just around the corner.
On the morning of July 9, Timbers fans were whipped into a frenzy of anticipation, as news started to leak that head coach John Spencer would be fired later that day. That anticipation abruptly turned to, well, something else entirely at about 10am, when Geoffrey C Arnold reported that Gavin Wilkinson would be serving as interim head coach until a replacement could be found.
By that point in the season things were looking pretty bleak for the Portland Timbers. With 17 matches played the Timbers under John Spencer had earned just 19 points -- a bit better than the 1.0 ppm they finished the season with. (That's not including the USOC loss to Cal FC.)
Cue incessant ALL-CAPS rants from Stumptown Footy community members with single-purpose usernames.
Before being traded to the Philadelphia Union for hometown boy Danny Mwanga, Perlaza made John Spencer's starting eleven six times including in the final game before he was traded, the Timbers first match against Vancouver of the 2012 season, which ended in a 1-1 draw. In the eighty eight minutes he played that game he registered three shots, one of which was on goal, and before the news came that he was on his way out it seemed like things might be turning around for the speedy Colombian.
If you are anything like me, you will probably do a good deal of speculating, plenty of obsessing, and more than a little reminiscing. So, with all those activities in mind, here is a rough framework for all of us to work around. Anything in italics is an u confirmed date and is based off of last year's preseason schedule, guesswork, or some combination of the two.
It's been a grim year. With Kenny Cooper being traded to the New York Red Bulls and thereafter scoring goals like a mad man, Troy Perkins (a fan favorite) being traded and publicly dissed by Gavin Wilkinson, and John Spencer being fired it's been a whirlwind of crap that Portland Timbers fans have had to deal with this year.
When the Seattle Sounders travel down I-5 to face off against Cascadia Cup rival Portland Timbers they will be doing so with a simple goal - three points. While a draw prevents the Timbers from earning the Cascadia Cup, it is three points that advances the Sounders quest for the top spot in the West and the future earning of the Cup that fuels the team.
Well what do we have here? Could it be... should I say it? Oh what the hell, I'll say it. Could
it be that the Portland Timbers have found themselves in the midst of a winning streak? I don't
want tog et everybody's hopes up being that it's only two wins, both of which were at home, but I
think it's safe to say that the Timbers' performance during those two games were markedly better
than they were in the months since John Spencer left.
Caleb Porter is making the jump to the professional ranks, but not until December.Â
Porter was named the new coach of the Portland Timbers Wednesday, where he will take over
full-time duties from interim coach and general manager Gavin Wilkinson, who took over for the
ousted John Spencer.
Back to the Cathedral!Good morning! The Portland Timbers come to the Cathedral of Football
for the first visit since they foolishly decided to trade one Kenny Fuckin' Cooper to the Red
Bulls. We all know what has happened since: 13 goals for New York, the firing of John Spencer and a
comfortable spot at the bottom of the West for Portland.
When this week is over the Portland Timbers will have interviewed their third head coaching
candidate, according to team sources. Give the team another week and the number of interviews
concluded should be at five. So just who should the Timbers be looking at? And what should they be
As it stands, the Timbers are in dire straits and look like they are on course to finish the
season with the wooden spoon firmly in hand.
Last night's game was a lot of fun. No pressure to win, no expectations for three points. Really
it was all about having fun and watching our home team challenge a team from one of the best
leagues in the world. More than that, though, it was a bit of a revelation watching the Portland
Timbers young guns strut their stuff in front of an increasingly lethargic starting XI side.
In the weekend leading up to the MLS All-Star Game, some teams showed their dominance, while
others took steps in the wrong direction. Saturday saw Dallas FC make a complete mockery of the
Portland Timbers, who have now lost four in a row. Meanwhile, the New York Red Bulls continued
their impressive home lossless streak, dispatching the Union 2-0.
Some will still point to the Cal FC loss as the worst game in the Timbers history as a Major
League Soccer club, but last night's 5-0 loss that knocked the Timbers into last place in the
league has got to be up there. Positives were few and far between and even the optimists here at
Stumptown Footy had a hard time picking out someone to praise.
So, Game One with Gavin Wilkinson as interim head coach didn't go so well -- entertaining, yes,
but entertainment doesn't add points to the standings. The Portland Timbers will try to turn things
around in front of a prepubescent midday crowd at the Home Depot Center today. If the Boys in Green
are going to get a win away from home at all this season, it might as well come against the worst
offense in MLS.
Recent front office moves, (Portland firing John Spencer, DCU gaining new ownership) have
created public communication from the teams from front offices where the word "brand" has been used
to refer to the entity. For example, instead of Portland Timbers "club," it was referred to by
Merritt Paulson in his presser this week as the Portland Timbers "brand.
The Gavin Wilkinson era for the Portland Timbers in MLS begins Saturday evening on the NBC Sports
Network as they play host to MLS Cup champion LA Galaxy. The Timbers come off a 3-0 loss at Real
Salt Lake last weekend, the last game in charge for John Spencer.
Front-runner status in the Supporters' Shield race is at stake this weekend.
The MLS-leading San Jose Earthquakes will host a Real Salt Lake team sitting just one point back
in the Western Conference standings. With the top attack in MLS, Chris Wondolowski and the
Earthquakes will be eager to test themselves against Jamison Olave and Salt Lake's dependably
stingy back line.
Schellas Hyndman will be the first to admit he doesn't know John Spencer, the former Houston
assistant who was relieved of head coaching duties in Portland on Monday personally. However, the
ex-SMU gaffer does have a great deal of respect for Dominic Kinnear's top lieutenant and after
practice on Tuesday, he had the following to say about Spencer being let go by the Timbers, a side
FCD will face for the second time this season next Saturday at FC Dallas Stadium.
Earlier this week, we saw John Spencer's reign come to an end. It was a little sad, despite the
recent performances of the team. When he first came on last year I thought that this could be a man
who is with the team for years, makes his mark and leaves on his own terms. But alas, it was not to
Part 3 of Nick Firchau's three-part feature about Portland Timbers owner and president Merritt Paulson is out today, as promised. While it doesn't deliver quite the level of controversy that Part 2 did, it's still an interesting look at Paulson's actions in the face of adversity. The moral of the story appears to be that Paulson has learned some hard lessons.
Bright Dike is, depending on your perspective, our best forward who should start whenever heâ€™s healthy, a great 70th minute substitute, or a guy who simply doesnâ€™t belong in MLS.
Even as the season winds down, it is important to consider his role in the squad going forward. Jose Adolfo Valencia finally made his debut with the reserves in their final game, and if everything pans out as the front office expected when they signed him, he is the Timbersâ€™ striker of the future.
Is Kris Boyd the biggest DP bust of 2012? (Getty Images)
Everyone loves this debate these days which Designated Player was a bust or not?
I've seen a ton lately on Kris Boyd up in Portland and how his days there in the Rose City are likely numbered. It makes sense, the last two times I watched him play (one in person, the other on TV) I wasn't impressed.
It is too hot. It is too hot. IT IS TOO FRICKIN HOT.
I mean, I was only out playing soccer for like 70 minutes the other day, and I feel like I need to
visit a burn ward. It makes me feel bad for quietly chortling to myself as the east coast
complained incessantly about how the trays of cookie dough on their car dashboards were overdone
when they came back.
Last night's match against the LA Galaxy was a confusing one for Timbers fans. Despite the
team's defensive lapses the Timbers had several stand out performances in the the attack, giving
some hope going forward. Nobody was perfect, but a few players stood out enough for our editors to
pick them as the Man of the Match.
With The LA Galaxy coming to town tomorrow, the Timbers underwent their final preparations for
the two teams' third match up of the season at practice today. Training today was a closed session
that, at an hour and fifteen minutes, ran somewhat longer than John Spencer's usual pre-match
practices, which usually were between forty five minutes and an hour long.
Eric Alexander joined the Timbers in August of 2011 after successful rookie and sophomore campaigns with FC Dallas during which he scored two goals in 39 appearances. His first few months with the Timbers featured just three starts and five appearances overall, as he struggled to combine fully with his new teammates.
San Jose Earthquakes forward Chris Wondolowski, who picked up his 2012 MLS MVP award on Thursday, will stick around and hang out with the Dynamo players this weekend and many of them again next weekend when he attends Corey Ashe's wedding.
Wondolowski, who tied the MLS record with 27 goals this year, was traded to San Jose in June 2009 for Cam Weaver.
This one's a toughie. Freddie Braun is one of the most likeable guys on the team.
"One thing about Freddie is, he has got a tremendous attitude," said John Spencer after the 1-1 draw against Chivas during the preseason tournament at Jeld Wen Field. "He comes in every day, works hard, and when he plays out there he really seems to rise to the occasion.
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