Portland Timbers: Caleb Porter is ‘moving on’

Porter signed a 'long-term' extension on Jan. 27, 2016

Portland Timbers head coach Caleb Porter looks over his shoulder in the second half of the second game of the Western Conference semifinals against the Seattle Sounders in the MLS Cup soccer playoffs, Thursday, Nov. 7, 2013, in Portland, Ore. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The Portland Timbers confirmed on Friday morning that Caleb Porter is ‘moving on’ from his position as head coach.

Rumors of his departure surfaced on Thursday evening. The surprise move was first reported by the soccer website FourFourTwo.com.

“To the players, coaching staff and support staff it truly has been a remarkable five seasons and I am so thankful and proud for all that we have accomplished together. I will miss the day to day being in the trenches with you but the relationships and memories we’ve shared will last forever,” Porter said in a written statement.

Porter, 42, has been coach of the Timbers for the past five seasons, guiding the team to the MLS Cup Championship in 2015. He was named the MLS Coach of the Year after his first season with the team in 2013.

The Timbers finished this season as the top seed in the Western Conference, but fell in the conference semifinals 2-1 on aggregate to the Houston Dynamo.

Porter finishes his run in Portland with a 60-50-52 record.

Scott Swearingen is a member of the Timbers Army board of directors. He said many of their members are surprised by Porter’s decision.

“There’s emotions across the spectrum and there’s a lot that hasn’t come out,” Swearingen said.

“I’m really curious to see what comes out.”

CBS Sports’ Roger Gonzalez told KOIN 6 News on Oct. 11 that he thought Porter could be the next coach of U.S. Soccer.

“I think he’d be a really good fit,” Gonzalez told KOIN 6 News over Skype. “He’s young, he’d be there for quite a long time if he was named the coach and able to be successful. He has a little experience with U.S. Soccer with the U-23 national team. “It wasn’t the greatest stint, but he’s someone who’s a proven winner. He’d be a good fit and I think he’s someone they’ll consider when the time comes.”

John Strong, a Fox Sports play-by-play announcer who calls US Soccer matches, joined John Canzano’s radio show on Friday. Canzano asked Strong if he thought Porter would be a good fit to coach the U.S. Soccer team.

“I don’t think that’s actually an option right now…you’re probably not even making a decision until after the world cup when a lot of other coaches become available,” Strong said.

On Jan. 27, 2016, the Timbers signed Porter, the 2013 MLS Coach of the Year, to a long-term contract extension. The terms were never disclosed.

“Caleb is one of the top coaches in MLS,” said Timbers General Manager Gavin Wilkinson at the time. “And the progress and accomplishments this club has realized over the last three seasons under his direction speak for themselves.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.