Porter’s exit from the Timbers a shock for Soccer City - KPTV - FOX 12

Porter’s exit from the Timbers a shock for Soccer City

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The news that Caleb Porter is indeed out of Portland was certainly a shocker in Soccer City.

The move comes just two seasons after bringing home the club's first MLS Cup and only weeks after the Timbers were ousted in the Western Conference semifinals as the number one seed.

Porter was the third-longest tenured coach in MLS but now is gone after five years and a 60-50-and-52 record.

The now-former Portland coach told FOX 12 earlier in the season that he can see a daily how his time in the Rose City has added mileage.

“To look in the mirror and see how many gray hairs I have since game one, it's interesting when you look back,” he said. “I looked a lot fresher when I came here.”

As a club, the Timbers have only gotten better since Porter arrived from the college game as a national championship coach with the Akron Zips.

The 2013 Major League Soccer Coach of the Year led PTFC to its first-ever championship and a title parade in downtown Soccer City in 2015.

In a statement released by the team on Friday, Porter said he is proud of the accomplishments he has made with the club but also is looking forward to his next challenges.

“Looking back and reflecting on my time with the Timbers, I am very proud of the results we all achieved and I know that joining the club in 2013 was one of the best decisions of my life,” he said. “I'm emotional thinking about leaving but also look forward to what's ahead in the next chapter of my career and our lives.”

Less than a year ago, team owner and CEO Merrit Paulson signed Porter to a long-term contract extension. Friday the top man in the organization wished the coach well while also saying his club was still in strong shape.

“I respect Caleb's decision to seek his next challenge. He leaves Portland with a lasting legacy valued by everyone associated with the club, and I wish him nothing but success in the future,” Paulson said. “Caleb leaves a strong club foundation and we are well-positioned to manage this departure.”

Despite the loss in the West semis to Houston, Porter went out on top in Cascadia, capturing the Cascadia Cup for the first time in his tenure.

FOX 12 soccer analyst and Timbers legend Willie Anderson was stunned like many others in the Rose City when he heard the news, calling the Timbers coaching job one of the top spots in the MLS.

“For me, it's the best gig in America. The best coaching job you can find. He's leaving a city that loves him,” Anderson said. “Fans that adore him. He can write his own check for how long he wants to stay here. It's a great place to live. He's got a family. It's a great family city.”

The big question on fans minds now is “Where will Porter head next?” Anderson, for one, believes that, at the very least, Porter already has his next act lined up and waiting in the wings.

“For me, it's got to be something really amazing to get him to think about it,” he said. “He's got something lined up. God bless him, he's earned it. An opportunity like this doesn't come around every five minutes and it must be something really exciting.”

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