After five seasons as head coach in the NASL with the New York Cosmos, Giovanni Savarese is getting his shot in MLS. Multiple league sources tell Metro that Savarese will be named the next head coach of the Portland Timbers.
Savarese replaces Caleb Porter, who stepped down as Timbers head coach last month.
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A former MLS player who was with the NY/NJ MetroStars in the league’s inaugural year in 1996, Savarese has an intricate knowledge of the league and American soccer. Having played in college at LIU and then in the lower division before MLS, he understands the challenges of the sport in this country.
Capped 30 times by Venezuela, Savarese joined the Cosmos in 2013 as the first head coach of the rebooted franchise. He led the team to Soccer Bowl titles that first year and again in 2016.
Savarese takes over a team and a franchise that seems poised for continued success. The Timbers have arguably the most passionate fanbase in the league in a stadium that is expanding to meet the needs of their rabid supporters. The Timbers also feature Diego Valeri, an Argentine midfielder who was named the league’s MVP this past year.
Portland undertook an extensive head coaching search. One of the candidates, a source said, was Columbus Crew head coach Gregg Berhalter.