In the wake of Columbus’ head coach and sporting director officially departing to take up the US men’s national team coaching post on Sunday, the site reported that Crew SC plan to split those dual duties into two separate hires and have already interviewed two candidates for the coaching job.
One is Caleb Porter, who led the Portland Timbers from 2013-17, winning the 2015 MLS Cup and finishing first in the Western Conference regular-season standings in 2013 and 2017, and accruing a 68-50-52 overall record. He left the Rose City club by mutual consent about a year ago, and was dubbed the “favorite” for the Columbus job by one of Massive Report’s sources.
The other is Josh Wolff, a retired USMNT striker who served as Berhalter’s top assistant over the past five years in Columbus and has been credited as a key cog in the success Crew SC enjoyed under the new USMNT leader’s tenure.
A new local ownership group led by Pete Edwards, Jr. and Dee and Jimmy Haslam is currently in talks to buy Crew SC, and is taking part in the process of selecting the new technical staff. Columbus announced on Sunday that assistant coach Pat Onstad will serve as interim general manager while Crew SC begin a “search for new soccer operations leadership in collaboration with potential new investor-operators.”
Porter, 43, has deep Ohio ties, having made his name as the head coach at the University of Akron from 2006-12, a period of NCAA dominance marked by a national championship in 2010 and a trip to the College Cup final the previous season.
A USMNT standout for nearly a decade at the turn of the century, Wolff earned 52 caps, most prominently scoring and assisting on memorable goals against Mexico in the 2002 World Cup and during that tournament’s qualifying cycle. He also won the 1998 MLS Cup with the Chicago Fire and began his coaching career with a season on Ben Olsen’s staff at D.C. United in 2013.