Analysis

Rose City shock: Caleb Porter out as Portland Timbers head coach

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Porter's time in Portland ends with one league title and two first place finishes in MLS'  Western Conference.

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Caleb Porter is out as head coach of the Portland Timbers.

In a shocking decision after a first-place finish in the Western Conference, multiple league sources indicate Portland and Porter have agreed to mutually part ways. According to a separate source, the now-former Timbers coach initiated the sequence of events that led to his departure.

A league source emphasized Porter was not fired and that an agreement was reached between the club and the coach. 

Porter led the Timbers to their first MLS Cup title in 2015 as well as first place finishes in the Western Conference in 2013 and 2017. A formal announcement is expected from the club on Friday. 

Since being hired by the Timbers ahead of the 2013 season, Porter compiled a 68-50-52 record in Portland. The former Akron coach is considered to be one of the top coaches in MLS and will certainly be in demand within the league. He was also considered to be a potential candidate for the U.S. men’s national team job.

Where Porter lands immediately becomes one of the biggest storylines of the offseason, and perhaps beyond. There will also be questions about who the Timbers will hire as their next head coach. Portland is considered one of the best and toughest jobs in MLS in a market where the team is extremely popular. Owner Merritt Paulson and general manager Gavin Wilkinson remain in place atop the hierarchy in Portland and will now be tasked with filling Porter's shoes.

Names that will likely circulate include Marc Dos Santos and Giovanni Savarese, two coaches who have had huge success in the lower divisions of American soccer. The Timbers will also be able to draw from an international pool of candidates. 

Information from FourFourTwo USA's Richard Farley contributed to this report.

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