As an assistant, John Spencer was always a fiery presence on the Houston sideline.

The rumors finally became reality on Tuesday as the Portland Timbers named former Houston Dynamo assistant John Spencer as their new manager ahead of their first MLS expansion season in 2011. He will be officially introduced at a press event on Wednesday.

His first order of business will come in a couple of weeks as he works with Timbers technical director Gavin Wilkinson to select the MLS player-selection mechanisms in which the club will seek priority over fellow expansion club Vancouver Whitecaps. 

The 39-year-old former Scotland international is keenly familiar with MLS after playing four seasons with the Colorado Rapids. Spencer, an ex-MLS All-Star, then joined the Dynamo in 2006 as an assistant and helped the club to back-to-back MLS Cup titles in 2006 and 2007.

Before arriving in MLS, Spencer played 14 seasons of professional soccer in Scotland and England with clubs like Chelsea, Everton and Rangers.

Spencer left the Dynamo on July 13 with rumors swirling that he was set to be named Portland’s first MLS head coach. In the meantime, his post with the Dynamo was assumed by MLS veteran Steve Ralston.