SANDY, UT - JULY 7: Head coach John Spencer of the Portland Timbers directs his players in the first half of an MLS soccer game July 7, 2012 at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah. Real Salt Lake beat the Portland Timbers 3-0. (Photo by George Frey/Getty Images)
1 Total Update since July 9, 2012
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The Portland Timbers have fired head coach John Spencer, owner Merritt Paulson announced during a Monday press conference. Current GM Gavin Wilkinson will take over the head coaching duties, but Paulson made it clear that it would be in the interim only. Paulson said a permanent replacement will likely be announced during the offseason and that the team has identified 10 possible candidates so far.
Paulson, who got emotional during the announcement, said the decision was very difficult and that it was not simply because of Spencer's record. After a somewhat surprising expansion season, the Timbers have struggled significantly this year, especially away from Jeld-Wen Field.
Wilkinson alluded to the enormous disparity between home and away records as one possible reason that Spencer was fired. The Timbers have won just two of their 25 league road matches under Spencer. That disparity is well illustrated in the past four games, as the Timbers have beaten the Seattle Sounders and San Jose Earthquakes at home and lost by a combined score of 6-0 to the Colorado Rapids and Real Salt Lake.
For more on Spencer's firing, be sure to check out Stumptown Footy.