OregonLive.com is reporting that former Houston Dynamo assistant coach John Spencer has been selected as the the coach of the Portland Timbers when they join Major League Soccer in 2011.
The story says:
Spencer, 39, has been the front runner for the position since shortly after he interviewed with team owner Merritt Paulson and general manager Gavin Wilkinson in December.
As previously announced, Wilkinson will step down as coach, but remain as general manager/technical director in 2011.
The Timbers interviewed a number of other candidates, including former Chicago Fire coach Denis Hamlett, but Spencer, considered one of the hot assistant coaches in MLS, was the guy they wanted.
Speculation about Spencer coming to Portland intensified after he resigned from his position as assistant coach of the Houston Dynamo July 13.
Spencer, 39, had been an assistant coach in Houston since 2006 and helped head coach Dominic Kinnear guide the team to MLS championships in 2006 and 2007. Spencer led the Dynamo reserve team to the 2008 reserve division championship.
If you have been keeping up with our coverage of this situation, then you know that this move was in the works weeks ago. SB Nation Houston reported the departure of Spencer from the Dynamo and that the assistant coach was likely to end up at Portland as the team's new head coach.
This is a good move for Spencer, who was one of the hottest coaching prospects when he left Houston, and the Timbers will be a good fit for a coach eager to prove himself.
Now the only question that remains is who will Spencer ask to join his coaching staff. There is speculation that former Dynamo defender and Pacific Northwest-native Craig Waibel will join Spencer's coaching staff. There have not been any announcements regarding any assistant coaches, but this move seems to make sense for both parties as Waibel's family is from the Portland area and he and Spencer are already familiar with each other both personally and professionally.
SB Nation Houston will be sure to post updates as more information becomes available.