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Timbers tab Savarese as new head coach

By Jose Romero - Dec 18, 2017

The Portland Timbers are now on their third head coach since joining Major League Soccer, but the new manager brings historic significance for the city. 

Giovanni Savarese, a native of Venezuela, is presumably the first-ever Latino head coach for a professional team in Portland.

The Timbers made Savarese's hiring official on Tuesday. Most recently head coach of the North American Soccer League's New York Cosmos, Savarese replaces the departed Caleb Porter, who guided the Timbers to their first and only MLS Cup title in 2015.  

Savarese is only 46 years old and has more than 25 years of professional soccer experience as a player and coach. He was drafted by the New York-New Jersey MetroStars in 1996, the first year of MLS, and played in Venezuela, Italy and England. 

Kaleb Canales was interim head coach for the NBA's Portland Trail Blazers earlier this decade, but the Mexican American Canales was not named permanent coach as was Savarese. 

Savarese is also the first Venezuela-born manager in the history of MLS. The Timbers' choice was received mostly well throughout the soccer media community on Monday.

“I am both excited and proud to become the head coach of the Portland Timbers, and this is an ideal fit and outstanding opportunity for me as I take the next step in my coaching career,” Savarese said in a statement from the club. “The passion, ambition and support surrounding this club is truly inspiring, and I am sincerely honored and grateful for this opportunity to lead it on the pitch and to build on the club’s history of success for the community and the incredible supporters of the Portland Timbers.”

While losing Porter came as somewhat of a shock to many Timbers fans, they seem the type to get behind the new head man. Portland is one of the league's most succesful franchises the past two seasons so expectations are raised. 



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