The Columbus Crew have parted ways with head coach Caleb Porter, the club announced Monday. Columbus were eliminated from Audi 2022 MLS Cup Playoffs contention with a 2-1 loss at Orlando City SC on Sunday.
Porter had one year left on his contract. He joined Columbus ahead of the 2019 season and led the club to an MLS Cup title in 2020 and Campeones Cup title in 2021. The Crew only made the playoffs in 2020 out of his four seasons in charge.
Columbus will begin a coaching search immediately.
“This is not a decision we took lightly, and I need to first and foremost thank Caleb for his tireless efforts for the Crew during his four seasons with the club," club president and general manager Tim Bezbatchenko said in a club statement. "He joined the club ahead of 2019 and provided steady leadership at a critical moment of historic transition for the Crew. Caleb will forever be a part of Black & Gold history as the second star above our crest from 2020 is a testament to his contributions and what we were able to bring home during a special year."
Porter previously won MLS Cup with the Portland Timbers in 2015 and won an NCAA Division 1 title as head coach of Akron from 2006-12. The 47-year-old was briefly the United States U-23 national team head coach before taking over in Portland in 2013.
"Our players and coaching staff gave everything we had, but unfortunately the past two years we missed the playoffs on Decision Day," Porter said. "It’s a bottom-line business and I accept responsibility for the club falling short of our goals. ... I want to thank the players, technical staff and my coaching staff for all they gave. I will miss being in the locker room with these amazing people who do so much every day to push this club forward and I wish everyone the best moving forward."
During his time in Columbus, Porter accrued a 45W-43L-37D regular-season record. Assistant coaches Pablo Moreira, Tim Hanley, Eric Quill and Blair Gavin would not be returning to Columbus either.
“We would like to thank Caleb for his commitment and his leadership of our team. He holds a special place in our club’s history,” said Crew investor-operators Dee and Jimmy Haslam and Dr. Pete Edwards. “We will forever be grateful for his hard work and guidance in perhaps the most unique circumstances while capturing the 2020 MLS Cup. We wish Caleb and his family only the best moving forward."
Columbus will be an attractive vacancy, led by stars Lucas Zelarayan and Cucho Hernandez. Numerous players from their 2020 Cup-winning core remain, including Darlington Nagbe, Jonathan Mensah and Eloy Room.