Media roundup: Five candidates generating buzz for the Portland job

Giovanni Savarese - New York Cosmos - 2016 - close-up

Who will replace Caleb Porter in Portland?

Plenty of names have been bandied about since news dropped on Thursday night that Porter was leaving his post as Timbers head coach, with potential candidates including current MLS head coaches, lower league champions and a college coach or two.

Here’s a look at some of the names that have been mentioned:

Giovanni Savarese

The former MetroStars forward has managed the New York Cosmos to three NASL titles in five years and narrowly missed out on a fourth when he lost the league final to San Francisco earlier this month. He’s interviewed for several MLS jobs in the past, and will almost assuredly be discussed by owner Merritt Paulson and GM Gavin Wilkinson for the Timbers job. He’s been mentioned by The Oregonian, FourFourTwo, and’s very Matt Doyle as a potential candidate for the gig.

Marc Dos Santos

Dos Santos beat Savarese to lead San Francisco to the NASL title, but he’s already announced that he won’t return to the cash-strapped Deltas in 2018. Assuming he’s not already committed elsewhere, the former Ottawa Fury FC and Swope Park Rangers manager would be an intriguing fit in MLS. The Canadian, who has made three straight finals with three different teams and is widely respected by his players, has been mentioned by most every outlet handicapping the Timbers’ coaching search.

Alessandro Nesta

The Italian legend hasn’t popped up in many media reports about the Timbers job, but he did leave Miami FC on Friday. His goodbye statement made it seem like he already has something new lined up. Could that be with the Timbers? It’d be a bold hire for the organization (Nesta only has two years of managerial experience under his belt, and couldn’t grab any playoff glory despite having the biggest payroll in NASL), but, as they proved when they hired Porter, Portland aren’t afraid to go out on a limb with coaching decisions.

Robin Fraser

An MLS lifer, Fraser has been Greg Vanney’s top assistant in Toronto for the past couple of years. A trophy-winning former assistant at Real Salt Lake and with the New York Red Bulls, Fraser served as head coach of Chivas USA in 2011 and 2012 and wouldn’t have much of an MLS learning curve should he land the Timbers gig.

Tab Ramos

Another name long connected with plenty of MLS openings, Ramos is currently head coach of the US Under-20 national team. He’s had a successful run with the U-20s, leading them to the quarterfinals of the World Cup in 2015 and 2017 and has been mentioned by Goal, FourFourTwo and The Oregonian as a potential candidate for the Timbers.