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Timbers Staff Play Musical Chairs

Coaching Staff for the Timbers and T2 have been shuffled and re-dealt like a deck of cards

Giovanni Savarese
Giovanni Savarese
Bennett Dewan

Ahead of the official first press conference with Giovanni Savarese, the Timbers announced the technical staff of both the Timbers and T2 ahead of the 2018 season. In the announcement came some shuffling of current technical staff as well as the addition of staff that have joined the organization along with Savarese.

Joining Savarese on the first team technical staff are new assistant coach Carlos Llamosa and goalkeeping coach Guillermo “Memo” Valencia. Current assistant coach Sean McAuley keeps his position with the first team.

The shuffling of staff includes moving many first team incumbents down to hold primary staff positions with T2. This includes making Cameron Knowles the newest head coach of T2. As the third head coach in T2’s short existence, Cameron Knowles replaces Andrew Gregor as the head coach for the 2018 season.

Gregor moves to an assistant coach position under Cameron, retaining a place on the T2 technical staff. Adin Brown retains a goalkeeping coach position with the organization, becoming the goalkeeping coach with T2. However, he will work with both T2 and first team keepers, so it sounds like he might understudy new keeper coach Valencia.

All of the additions and shuffling, and a few more included in the press release quoted below, are just part of this off season's changes as the organization look to start a new era for the club.


PORTLAND, Ore. – The Portland Timbers today announced their technical staff assignments heading into the 2018 Major League Soccer campaign. Joining recently appointed head coach Giovanni Savarese on the Timbers technical staff are assistant coaches Carlos Llamosa and Sean McAuley, goalkeeper coach Guillermo “Memo” Valencia, director of sports science Nick Milonas and video/data analyst Shannon Murray.

Additionally, Jon MacGregor has been named the Timbers head athletic trainer, with the club still to hire a head physical therapist in the coming weeks.

Cameron Knowles will join T2 as head coach of the team, and Andrew Gregor has been named assistant coach. Adin Brown will serve as the club’s goalkeeping coach, working with the first-team and T2 goalkeepers. Steve Reese will continue to serve as the goalkeeper coach for the Timbers Academy programs.

“We are very excited about the qualified and experienced first-team and T2 staff that has been assembled to support Gio and the club,” said Gavin Wilkinson, general manager and president of soccer for the Timbers.

Holding a USSF “A” license, Llamosa joins the Timbers coaching staff after spending the 2017 MLS campaign as an assistant coach with the New England Revolution. A former MLS and U.S. Men’s National Team defender, Llamosa enjoyed a 16-year career in MLS as a player and a coach, as well as an additional four years as an assistant coach in the North American Soccer League (NASL) alongside Savarese with the New York Cosmos. Prior to coaching with the Cosmos, Llamosa spent four seasons as an assistant coach with MLS club Chivas USA from 2009-2012. As a player in MLS, Llamosa made 154 appearance (142 starts), recording three goals and four assists as a defender with D.C. United (1997-2000), Miami Fusion (2001), the New England Revolution (2002-2005) and Chivas USA (2006-2007). Starting a total of 27 postseason matches in his MLS career, Llamosa won two MLS Cup titles with D.C. United (1997, 1999). At the international level, Llamosa made 29 appearances for the United States, including appearances during the 1999 Confederations Cup, 2002 World Cup qualifiers and the 2002 FIFA World Cup.

McAuley enters his seventh season as a first-team coach with the Timbers organization. Joining Portland as an assistant coach in 2012 after previously serving as the head academy manager for English club Sheffield Wednesday (2005-2011), McAuley, who holds a UEFA PRO coaching license, is also in the process of completing his USSF PRO license. McAuley also served as the caretaker manager for Sheffield Wednesday’s first team on two occasions during the 2006-07 and 2009-10 League Championship seasons. Additionally, McAuley enjoyed a 15-year (1990-2005) playing career, including one season with the second-division Timbers in 2002. Beginning his career with Manchester United, McAuley played a majority of his career for clubs in the United Kingdom, including St. Johnstone, Hartlepool United, Scunthorpe United, Rochdale and Halifax Town.

Valencia comes to Portland after spending the past five seasons as the goalkeeper coach for the Cosmos, helping the team win three NASL Soccer Bowl championships, while working alongside Savarese. Valencia, who maintains USSF goalkeeping and “A” licenses, has coached goalkeepers for the U.S. Men’s National Team between the U-17 and U-23 levels since 2009. During his 11-year professional playing career as a goalkeeper in Colombia, Valencia played for America de Cali (1990-1995) and Deportivo Pereira (1995-2001), featuring as a key member of the Pereira side that won the Professional Colombian Soccer Association league championship. Valencia later moved to the United States to compete for the Westchester Flames and the Long Island Rough Riders.

A performance specialist with EXOS, a leader in the field of human performance, Milonas enters his fifth season with the club. Prior to joining the Timbers ahead of the 2014 MLS campaign, Milonas spent one season (2008-09) with AS Monacao FC in the French Ligue 1, before spending three seasons with Toronto FC (2011-2013). Additionally, Milonas holds a bachelor’s degree in physical and health education from Queen’s University and a master of science in human movement from A.T. Still University of Health Sciences.

Entering his third season with the Timbers organization, Murray will become the video/data analyst for the first team after spending the past two seasons as an assistant coach for T2. Murray, who holds a USSF “A” license, joined T2 on March 9, 2016, after spending the past decade working in youth and coaching development, including two seasons as an academy coach with Seattle Sounders FC. Additionally, Murray has been a member of U.S. Soccer’s National Coaching Education staff since 2011. Prior to beginning his career in coaching, Murray played six professional seasons in the A-League and Continental Indoor Soccer League.

MacGregor joins Portland as the first team’s head athletic trainer after spending the past three seasons (2015-2017) with Columbus Crew SC. MacGregor, a certified and licensed ATC with a bachelor’s degree in athletic training and a master’s degree in sports management, spent the 2017 season as the head athletic trainer for Crew SC after spending the previous two years as the assistant athletic trainer. Prior to joining Columbus, MacGregor spent four-and-a-half years with Vancouver Whitecaps FC, serving as a first-team athletic trainer and as the head athletic trainer for the club’s residency program.

Knowles, who holds a USSF “A” license, will transition to T2 to serve as the team’s head coach for the 2018 USL season after spending the past six seasons as an assistant coach for the Timbers. Drafted by Real Salt Lake in the 2005 MLS Supplemental Draft, Knowles played professionally for seven seasons, including two seasons in MLS and four with the Timbers from 2007-10. During his playing career with the Timbers, Knowles was a three-time USL First Division all-league selection and helped Portland claim the Commissioner’s Cup in 2009 as the league’s regular-season champion. He was a finalist for the league’s Defender of the Year award in 2007. In total, Knowles played in 77 games for the Timbers, which ranks among the club’s second-division career leaders.

Originally joining the Timbers Academy coaching staff in March 2014, Gregor, who holds his USSF “B” license, returns for his fourth season as a professional coach with the club, previously serving as an assistant coach (2015) and head coach (2016-17) for T2. As a player, Gregor played parts of three seasons for the second-division Timbers (2004, 2007-08) as part of a 12-year professional playing career that included time in Major League Soccer.

Entering his fourth season as a coach with Portland, Brown, who holds his USSF “B” license, will transition to a new role with the Timbers, serving as the club’s goalkeeper coach for T2 goalkeepers, while also working with the first-team goalkeepers. An accomplished goalkeeper with a 13-year professional career playing in Norway and MLS, Brown originally joined the Timbers for the 2010 season and started Portland’s first-ever MLS match on March 19, 2011, against the Colorado Rapids. As a player, Brown featured in Norway and MLS, appearing in 85 games in his MLS career, helping guide the Revolution to the MLS Cup final in 2002 and earning the team’s Defender of the Year honor twice. Internationally, Brown made six appearances for the U-23 U.S. Men’s National Team.

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