With the annual game of musical chairs among MLS head coaches now in full swing, there’s one who won’t be going anywhere – for quite some time.
As first reported by SI.com, the Portland Timbers have locked up head coach Caleb Porter to a long-term contact. Team sources confirmed to MLSsoccer.com that reports of a five-year deal will indeed keep Porter in the Rose City for the foreseeable future.
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MLSsoccer.com also learned that the contract was agreed upon midway through the season. The Timbers went on to qualify for the MLS playoffs for the first time in team history.
As Portland head into the first leg of their Western Conference Semifinal matchup on Saturday against the Seattle Sounders (10 pm ET; NBCSN), news of Porter’s contract extension signifies a massive payoff on a gamble on the part of the former University of Akron head coach. Porter left a 10-year deal behind, not to mention a program that he turned into a soccer dynasty, and took a pay cut to challenge himself in the professional game.
Under Porter, the Timbers set new single-season MLS club records in several categories, including points (57), wins (14), goals (54), goal differential (+21), shutouts (15), fewest losses (5) and fewest goals allowed (33) – all of which ranked among the league’s best.
Portland's early-season 15-game unbeaten streak is the longest for a first-year coach in league history.