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MLS: Caleb Porter, Timbers mutually part ways

Caleb Porter has left a vacant head coaching spot in Portland, Oregon.

The Portland Timbers announced that the club and coach have mutually parted ways. The announcement was officially made Friday afternoon, after rumors swirled on Wednesday and Thursday.

Porter was the head coach of the Timbers for five seasons, being hired in 2013.

During his five-year tenure, Porter led the Timbers to their first MLS Cup championship in 2015. Porter held a head coaching record of 68-50-52 in five seasons.

This past season, the Timbers finished in first place in the Western Conference.

However, their playoff run was cut short after the Houston Dynamo upset the Timbers. The Dynamo will begin to face the Seattle Sounders FC – the reigning MLS Cup champions – on Nov. 21.

“During Caleb’s five seasons with our club, we reached new heights and accomplished great things together. His commitment, passion and talent were essential in bringing many on-field successes to our supporters, our club and our city, most notably our first MLS Cup. More than that, he has been a friend whom I have enjoyed working with,” said Merritt Paulson, owner of the Timbers.

“I respect Caleb’s decision to seek his next challenge,” Paulson said. “He leaves Portland with a lasting legacy valued by everyone associated with the club, and I wish him nothing but success in the future. With our next on-field leader, we look forward to building on the Timbers’ winning tradition and to setting the course for even greater achievements in the seasons ahead. Caleb leaves a strong club foundation and we are well-positioned to manage this departure.”

Rumors have begun to swirl that Porter is looking to take hold of the vacant United States Men’s National Team head coach spot.

U.S. Soccer has not responded to those rumors.

Porter’s full statement on his departure is below:

“I would like to begin by giving special thanks to my owner and friend Merritt Paulson for providing me with the opportunity to lead the Portland Timbers these past five seasons,” said Porter. “Also, a big thanks to Hank and Wendy Paulson, Heather Paulson and Gavin Wilkinson for the incredible support they have shown me, and for their tireless efforts on behalf of the Timbers. Everyone has made me and my family feel a part of the Timbers family from day one, and words truly can’t express my gratitude for what this has meant to me.”

“My goal in taking the Timbers job was to lead the club to new heights and to win things that had never been done by the organization,” Porter continued. “Looking back and reflecting on my time with the Timbers, I am very proud of the results we all achieved and I know that joining the club in 2013 was one of the best decisions of my life. I also am confident that the Timbers are poised for future success given the tremendous leadership of Merritt Paulson, Gavin Wilkinson and Mike Golub and the first-class level in which the club operates, both on- and off-the-pitch.”

“I will never forget and cannot ever repay the fans, especially the Timbers Army, for their tremendous passion and unwavering support of myself, the players and the club. The supporters of the Portland Timbers are the lifeblood and soul behind what makes this club such a special place and bringing an MLS Cup trophy to Portland will be a memory I always will cherish, since you deserved it more than anyone!”

“To the players, coaching staff and support staff it truly has been a remarkable five seasons and I am so thankful and proud for all that we have accomplished together. I will miss the day to day being in the trenches with you but the relationships and memories we’ve shared will last forever.”

“Lastly, my wife, Andrea, and I have loved our time in this wonderful community and our family will miss the city of Portland immensely,” Porter concluded. “I’m emotional thinking about leaving but also look forward to what’s ahead in the next chapter of my career and our lives.”

 

Photo of Caleb Porter courtesy of David Zalubowski/Associated Press.

Follow @RachaelMcKriger on Twitter for all MLS coverage.

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Rachael McKriger
Sports Journalist

Rachael McKriger writes for RSEN Report (Lead Editor), Pittsburgh Sports Castle (Content Editor), Mon Goals and W2M Network, in addition to being a sports stringer/reporter for the Mon Valley Independent newspaper.

A senior of California Univ. of Pennsylvania, you can follow her on Twitter, @RachaelMcKriger, where you can find all of her articles. Search “McKriger Photography” on Facebook, to see her photos.


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