Timbers fire coach Giovanni Savarese after five seasons

The Portland Timbers fired head coach Giovanni Savarese on Monday after five-plus seasons in the job.

Assistant coach Miles Joseph was named the club's interim head coach for the rest of the season.

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Savarese, 52, was hired ahead of the 2018 campaign. Portland went 74-62-47 under Savarese's tenure and reached the MLS Cup final twice, losing the championship match in 2018 and 2021. The Timbers also won a midseason tournament in the pandemic-shortened 2020 campaign called the MLS is Back Tournament.

This season, the Timbers are 6-10-8 (26 points) and sit 12th of 14 teams in the Western Conference, five points out of a playoff berth. They also missed the playoffs last year.

"Gio has been an exceptional coach for the Timbers and a joy to work with," owner Merritt Paulson said in a statement. "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."

A native of Venezuela, Savarese came to Portland after serving as head coach and sporting director of the NASL's New York Cosmos (2012-17). He enjoyed an 18-year playing career, including brief stays with the New England Revolution and San Jose Earthquakes.

"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," general manager Ned Grabavoy said in a statement. "His success during his time with the club speaks for itself, and we wish Gio the best moving forward.

"I believe the club is ready for a new direction and voice to help lead us forward. 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."