Portland Timbers part ways with head coach Giovanni Savarese

The Portland Timbers have parted ways with head coach Giovanni Savarese after a string of negative results saw the Western Conference team in 12th place on the table. Assistant coach Miles Joseph will now take over on an interim basis for the remainder of the 2023 Major League Soccer season as the team searches for a permanent replacement. 

“Gio has been an exceptional coach for the Timbers and a joy to work with,” owner Merritt Paulson said in a release. “He has achieved some fabulous results during his tenure with the club, including two MLS Cup appearances and the MLS is Back championship. I want to thank Gio for all that he has given us. He will be missed.”

Savarese departs after more than five years with the team, joining the Timbers for the 2018 season and managing a 74W-62L-47D record at the helm. He led the team to two MLS Cup appearances in 2018 and 2021, and the MLS is Back Tournament title in 2020.

“We are incredibly grateful for the commitment that Gio has given to the Portland Timbers over the last six seasons, and it has been an honor to have had the chance to work with him,” said general manager Ned Grabavoy. “His success during his time with the club speaks for itself, and we wish Gio the best moving forward.”

Savarese stood as Portland’s third all-time head coach since joining the league as an expansion team in 2011, after previously being led by Caleb Porter and John Spencer. Despite initial success, he saw a recent decline during the 2022 and 2023 seasons. The team currently boasts just 26 points in 24 games and a 6W-10L-8D record to risk missing the MLS playoffs for a second consecutive time.

“I believe the club is ready for a new direction and voice to help lead us forward,” added Grabavoy.

“Miles Joseph will take over as interim head coach as we begin our process to identify who will help lead our team in the years ahead. This moment serves as a chance for our club to reset, with a goal of reestablishing our ability to consistently compete at the highest level.”

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