Giovanni Savarese Departs from Portland Timbers

The Portland Timbers have parted ways with Head Coach Giovanni Savarese this week. The native from Caracas, Venezuela had been the head coach of the Timbers for five seasons.

In a press release, Portland Timbers owner Merritt Paulson said, “Gio has been an exceptional coach for the Timbers and a joy to work with.” Paulson continued, saying that, “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.”

Giovanni Savarese joined the Portland Timbers organization on December 18th, 2017. Over the next five seasons, Savarese would accumulate a record of 74-62-47. The Portland Timbers would make two MLS finals appearances under Savarese’s tenure. The first of which was in 2018, when Portland fell to the Atlanta United FC. The second run was in 2021, when Portland would lose on penalty kicks to New York City FC.

One of the biggest highlights of Savarese’s career was during the MLS is Back tournament in 2020. The MLS is Back tournament that replaced the MLS regular season, due to Covid-19 restrictions. In the tournament, the Timbers would place 1st in their group after round robin play. The Timbers would advance through the playoff bracket, and defeat Orlando City SC, 2-1 in the finals to win the tournament.

With Saverese gone, Assistant coach Miles Joseph was selected to act as interim head coach for the remainder of the the 2023 season.

The Portland Timbers have recently struggled to make the postseason. Last year, the Timbers had a record of 11-10-13, and finished just one point short of the playoffs. This year, the Timbers have a record of 6-10-8, which places them 12th overall in the Western Conference. The good news for Portland, is that the new MLS playoff format puts the top 9 teams from each conference in the playoffs. With 10 games left in the regular season, the Timbers are 5 points behind 9th seed Minnesota.

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