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Timbers to fire coach after RSL loss

Published July 9, 2012 11:04 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Turns out, not everyone was so thrilled about RSL's breakout performance on Saturday.

After losing 3-0 and having its team seemingly give up in the final 30 minutes, Portland is poised to fire coach John Spencer, according to a report in The Oregonian. A press conference has been scheduled for this afternoon, at which owner Merritt Paulson is expected announce the change. Technical director Gavin Wilkinson, who coached the team before it joined MLS, will reportedly replace Spencer for the remainder of the season.

Spencer, 41, joined the Timbers as head coach for their inaugural season in 2011. He guided the team to an 11-14-9 record in its first season, including a stunning 1-0 win over RSL in Portland. However, things were more challenging this season, with the team struggling to a 5-8-4 start and still looking for its first road victory.

For weeks, Spencer had been considered on the hot seat, and addressed those reports with local media. A mid-week win against Western Conference leading San Jose seemed to be a boost to Spencer's status. Saturday's loss, however, was the final straw.

— Bill Oram