In a significant development that’s making waves within the Major League Soccer (MLS) community, the Portland Timbers have officially announced their separation from head coach Giovanni Savarese. This decision comes amidst the team’s ongoing struggles in the current season, with the Timbers currently occupying the 12th position in the Western Conference standings. This precarious position has put their hopes of securing a spot in the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs in jeopardy.
To navigate the challenges ahead and rescue their campaign, the Timbers have appointed assistant coach Miles Joseph as the interim head coach for the remainder of the 2023 season. Savarese, who had been at the helm since the 2018 MLS season, leaves behind a notable legacy marked by significant achievements, including guiding the team to two MLS Cup appearances (in 2018 and 2021) and clinching the MLS is Back Tournament title in 2020.
In a released statement, team owner Merritt Paulson conveyed appreciation for Savarese’s contributions and recognized the milestones reached during his tenure. General manager Ned Grabavoy echoed these sentiments, highlighting Savarese’s pivotal role in shaping the team’s journey.
Having emerged as an expansion team in 2011, the Timbers, rooted in the Pacific Northwest, are entering a transitional phase following the departure of club icon Diego Valeri in 2021. Despite boasting a roster brimming with talent, including Brazilian midfielder Evander and midfielder Diego Chara, the team has encountered difficulties in attaining cohesive on-field dynamics. As the Timbers strive to regain their competitive edge, they’re looking ahead to a fresh chapter, marked by Joseph’s interim leadership. The search for a sustainable long-term coaching solution is now in progress, as the team readies itself for a new era.