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Caleb Porter wins 2013 MLS Coach of the Year award

Portland's first-year manager ran away with the league's highest coaching honor, defeating Mike Petke, Jason Kreis and Oscar Pareja for the award.

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While the season didn't end exactly the way he wanted, Caleb Porter finished 2013 with the highest honor an MLS coach can receive in winning the Coach of the Year award. Voted on by media, players and club officials across the league, Porter easily beat out New York Red Bulls' Mike Petke, Real Salt Lake's Jason Kreis and Colorado Rapids' Oscar Pareja for the honor. In doing so, Porter is the first Timbers manager since Gavin Wilkinson in 2009 to win a Coach of the Year award in a given league.

Club officials had Porter and Petke even in voting so the Timbers' manager relied on media and players to win the award. Porter won more than double Petke's votes among media members, while clearly distancing himself among players. Though Petke had a historic run in his first season in charge in New York, the Timbers' turnaround and instant success under Porter was judged to be of higher preference to the voters.

Below is the club's press release announcing the award:


Major League Soccer today announced that Portland Timbers head coach Caleb Porter has been named the 2013 Coach of the Year. The Timbers assembled a record-setting, turnaround season under Porter in 2013, his first season in MLS and as the club’s head coach.

The award was voted on by media, MLS players and MLS club management based on regular-season performance.

Porter, 38, guided Portland to a 14-5-15 (57pts) record, finishing the regular season in first place in the Western Conference and with the third-best record in the league – just two points shy of the Supporters Shield-winners New York Red Bulls. In 2013, the Timbers set new single-season club marks in points, wins, goals (54), goal differential (+21), shutouts (15) and fewest goals allowed (33).

Under Porter, the Timbers assembled one of the biggest turnaround seasons in MLS history. In comparison to the club’s 2012 totals, the Timbers assembled a 23-point improvement in points and an MLS-record 43-goal improvement in goal differential in 2013. Portland’s five losses during the 2013 regular season are tied for the fewest in MLS history in a 34-game season.

In 2013, the Timbers ranked third in MLS in goals scored and conceded the second-fewest goals at 33, giving the club a league-best, plus-21 goal differential. The club also led the league with 15 shutouts, tied for third-most in a single season in MLS history. During the regular season, the Timbers assembled one of the longest unbeaten streaks in MLS history at 15 games, and also put together a league-best, nine-match unbeaten run on the road. 

The Timbers recorded a 15-game, home unbeaten streak during the regular season, posting a league-best 11-1-5 home record at JELD-WEN Field in 2013. The Timbers also set an MLS single-season record with 11 home shutouts, which included a series of six straight clean sheets at JELD-WEN Field as part of a club-record, 587-minute streak without allowing a goal at home from March 9-July 13.

Among Porter’s achievements during the regular season, the club’s 57 points accrued are the most earned by a first-year head coach in MLS since the league’s inaugural season in 1996. Porter’s winning percentage (.632) in 2013 ranks among the best in league history for first-year MLS head coaches, and the Timbers’ 15-game unbeaten streak is the longest by an MLS head coach in his first full season at the helm.

Under Porter, Portland qualified for the MLS Cup Playoffs for the first time since joining the league in 2011. By defeating rival Seattle Sounders FC in the Western Conference Semifinal, the Timbers became just the fifth club in MLS history to reach the conference championship in their MLS Cup Playoff debut, and the first since Real Salt Lake in 2008. 

Additionally, the Timbers made their deepest run in club history in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup in 2013 under Porter’s guidance, reaching the semifinals of the tournament. 

Porter becomes the eighth head coach in MLS history to win Coach of the Year honors following his first full season in the league. 

The other finalists for the 2013 MLS Coach of the Year included Mike Petke of the New York Red Bulls and Real Salt Lake’s Jason Kreis. Below is a breakdown of the voting for the top four candidates:

Coach (Club)

% of Club Votes

% of Media Votes

% of Player Votes

Weighted Total

Caleb Porter (POR)





Mike Petke (NY)





Jason Kreis (RSL)





Oscar Pareja (COL)





MLS Coach of the Year Winners:
2013: Caleb Porter – Portland Timbers
2012: Frank Yallop – San Jose Earthquakes
2011: Bruce Arena – LA Galaxy
2010: Schellas HyndmanFC Dallas
2009: Bruce Arena – Los Angeles Galaxy
2008: Sigi SchmidColumbus Crew
2007: Preki – Chivas USA
2006: Bob Bradley – Chivas USA
2005: Dominic Kinnear – San Jose Earthquakes
2004: Greg Andrulis – Columbus Crew
2003: Dave Sarachan – Chicago Fire
2002: Steve Nicol – New England Revolution
2001: Frank Yallop – San Jose Earthquakes
2000: Bob Gansler – Kansas City Wizards
1999: Sigi Schmid – Los Angeles Galaxy
1998: Bob Bradley – Chicago Fire
1997: Bruce Arena – D.C. United
1996: Thomas Rongen – Tampa Bay Mutiny