Portland Timbers sign head coach Giovanni Savarese to long-term extension

Gio Savarese

The Portland Timbers have signed head coach Giovanni Savarese to a long-term contract extension, the club announced Wednesday.

Savarese’s new deal keeps him with Portland through at least the 2025 MLS season, with a club option year in 2026. Next season will be his sixth on the Timbers' sidelines.

“Gio has a proven track record of success in MLS, and we are excited to officially announce his extension as the head coach of the Portland Timbers,” technical director Ned Grabavoy said in a release. “We are thrilled that he’ll continue to be our on-field leader for years to come and he will certainly play a major role in helping the club continue to progress.”

Savarese joined the Timbers in 2018, leading the club to two MLS Cup appearances (2018, 2021) they ultimately fell short in. The 51-year-old Venezuelan also helped the Timbers claim the 2020 MLS is Back Tournament title and has steered Audi MLS Cup Playoffs appearances in four of his five years at the helm.

At Portland, Savarese has an 85W-60L-42D record across all competitions. Before coaching the Timbers, the former MLS forward led the New York Cosmos to three NASL championships.

“This is something that has been in the works since the MLS Cup last season, and for me, what felt right was to stay in Portland,” said Savarese. “I love the passion and the energy that our fans bring, and I believe in Portland as a soccer city. I’m honored to lead this team and plan to continue to help the team be competitive and build something bigger so we can make the fans very proud.”

Earlier this year, Savarese was linked to taking the Venezia job as they got relegated to Italy’s Serie B (second division). He’s only coached in the US since his extensive playing career concluded.