The Gio era in Portland ends after nearly six years.
Wow, I didn't think Ned would pull the trigger during the season. I've been a Gio defender, but this loss coupled with the very public disagreements with players absolutely forced Ned's hand. The good times were great with Gio, but it's been a miserable couple of seasons and this team lacks an identity as currently constructed.
Gio, I never quite got the blue suits, but there was no denying your passion for the team and the game and your players. You had the best celebrations, even though sometimes I worried you were going to have an aneurysm. I really appreciate the work you did and some of the results your team had were and are some of my favorite memories of the team - winning the MLSiB, the wins over SKC (Blanco's screamer) and Seattle on the way to the title game. You were much more engaging and less arrogrant than Porter in press conferences, and I appreciated that. You probably didn't have to do too much coaching with Valeri and Ridgy on the squad, but when Valeri left, it really all came apart this year and I think you just ran out of ideas, or maybe you didn't have the ideas, or maybe you couldn't impart those ideas. I'm hoping you take the rest of your contract money and go on a nice vacation and recharge and learn and I am sure you will land on your feet because you obviously are a people person and can relate to just about anybody, and like any coach, you do have an ego in there. Good luck!
And now it is the Miles Joseph show. We've been clamoring for change and now it is here. I am excited to see what happens Saturday.
Wait, can Ned also fire the current owner, as well? Might as well fix both issues facing the Timbers at once...
Smell ya later Gio! Man, it's about time. Hopefully we hire someone that has a fun style, or at minimum one that isn't physically painful to watch.
ABOUT FUCKING TIME
I guess I'm never going to find out what Gio-ball is!
Seriously though, I've had my suspicions that Gio, had the luck to have Valeri, Chara and Blanco in peak form and Gio did not get in the way. Some teams, like Spain's WT, can succeed despite the coaching staff and I think for 2-3 years the Timbers were that.
I am hoping a strong assistant from Europe or someone with some European coaching experience.
We went to the Timbers' meet and greet last night. Got a "free" hot dog and an over priced beer. Scored a dozen player autographs and all of the players seemed to be in good humor. I really enjoyed punking Evander and Bingham when I asked each of them if they'd heard the breaking news about who's been hired to replace Gio...I told them it was Ted Lasso and they both burst out laughing. That was fun. When I got to Bravo and said "Gio Out!" he flashed a wide smile and a gave a thumbs up. Pretty cool!
"Where are the Timbers now? They have a reviled owner who covered for a sexual predator. They have an unproven, first-time general manager whose debut season has been a mess. They have a mediocre roster, falling attendance numbers, and a general atmosphere of instability.
"It’s ugly stuff, and it has been for some time now. In the turmoil of the last two years, which saw the departure of Diego Valeri and the firings of Wilkinson and Mike Golub, Savarese was always a class act—the one representative of the club who consistently conducted himself with grace and humility, who embraced the city and its values."
— Abe Asher in the Merc
Timbers need a good sports psychologist. Maybe the FO, too.
As for Gio, seems like a great person. Mixed results overall as coach, with some good accomplishments. He had a lot of passion for the club. But the last two seasons have been difficult to watch. I wish him well. FO has its work cut out, and I'm skeptical they can do it. We'll see.
To the players I would say, especially to those who tuned him out and wanted him gone, what now? Let's see what you're about and who actually understands what it means to be a Portland Timbers player? Who wants to be here next year? Is there any passion left on this roster?
If i were mp.
1. Go find a coach somewhere in the Ajax system. I don't even care if they are coaching the u-16 team. Just ask yourself a couple questions. How long have they been with Ajax? Is their u-16 team playing the Ajax style? Then talk to them about how they see the game tactically and how they deal with player issues on and off the field. The coaches responsibility is 3 things. The system and tactics they use. The way they handle players on and off the field, and how they organize their staff. It really is that simple. So even if they are coaching a u-16 or u-18 team, those principles translate between the "ranks" of soccer. It's the foundation of the coach. The only thing I would say that does not translate is the player issues. The older they get, the worse the issues get. But this is why I think you could realistically find a coach in a club like Ajax or bvb. There are plenty of good coaches that are qualified with years of experience in those programs. Guys or girls that could be willing to come to Portland for a first team coaching job. Be a coach that is coaching the u18, u16 team that is many coaches removed from ever coaching the first team, or get you dream opportunity to be a first team coach now and make 3x to 4x the salary to go with it.
2. Find someone in the scouting department of a European club. Go look at the clubs that constantly hit the mark with young players. Like Brighton, bvb, rb Leipzig, etc. Then throw cash at them. Ask the question. Be a scout? Or build an entirely new foundation for our club under your vision. It's the next step in a scout's career and a great opportunity. They would be making substantially more money and doing it in a massive market. America. The reality is that you need a sporting director that has global reach and relationships. Someone who has been a part of those kind of clubs that do. Imagine a former scout from somewhere in the bvb system. He comes to Portland as a sporting director. 1. He has relationships all over the world. 2. Say that transfer season opens up, he makes a call to his former colleagues at bvb. (Or wherever he came from) "hey, is there any youth player you guys were looking at but decided against it? Why did you decide against it? Former colleague: we liked this other player better. Sporting director: cool thanks.
Now we have a lead on a potential high value target that is flying under the radar. And before you say, "other teams will be looking at them too" yeah maybe, but why is it that bvb always finds diamonds in the roughs and others don't? The reality is that they have built a brand of giving young players opportunities and having a brand of player development. Making them first choice for young players.
That is exactly who Portland HAVE TO BE. So sporting director who can set up a development program based on proven tactics and success. Someone who also global connections.
We all know money rules the world. So here is my thought process. Go get a marsch, a gio, a porter, and have a couple good seasons or a couple bad. Go spend 10 million dollars on a Evander, 8 million on a yimmi, 6 million on a nieazgoda, and the transfer market is only getting more and more expensive.
Go spend 10 million on a sporting director that can set up your brand for years and years of success based on proven tactics. Someone who drastically expands your brands reach, and instead of overpaying for established players, someone who knows how to identify qualities young players that at a fraction of the cost, but sell-on at a profit. Making sure that your club is always in a sustainable and profitable business model. Someone who can build a brand of a place people will want to come. Not be bribed to come.
Go spend big and take a chance on a undervalued coach from a club like Ajax. Someone far removed from first team opportunity but has all the training, and tutelage to implement the same style of play that you want your brand to be associated with.
Money talks people and we are no longer in a position to try and spend to keep up. It's time to put a defining stamp on our club. Something gio never did. Our play should never change with the coach but should be consistent and we have never had that under Spencer, porter, or gio.
Well now I just feel like the dog that caught the car. I'm sure I'll find something new to complain about soon enough though hahaha.
I'm totally willing to write the rest of this season off if it means the search for a permanent replacement is done right. That's obviously not a guarantee, but I'm glad they didn't just rush into a permanent decision now, and that they're taking the time to do a proper search.
I have to say that I'm sad to see Gio go. I think he did some really good things with the Timbers, but it was also time for his tenure to come to an end. It will be interesting to see where the Timbers go from here, as it should be clear to the players that the status quo isn't going to cut it. We are either going to see a renewed effort, or the players will pack it up and close things down.
What I'm hopeful for is a more pressure oriented team, and some open and free soccer play.
After the last game and mostly poor run of form it’s not a surprise but I think the organization with MP at the helm is still in trouble. If you’re a solid head coach with a real resume what would convince you to manage here?
Without a big commitment to spend, drop dead wrought, and let a coach really build a team around an identity of play it’s going to be extremely hard to get anyone. Doubt the Timbers do much big spending and instead get a young DP and mid salary DP with a few tam additions. I’d like to be proven wrong but I’m not super optimistic about a new hire. Seems like it could be a Gio 2.0, lower level successful coach that comes in motivated and then goes out after a few seasons. Guess that’s kind of being a pro manager at this level though.
Yeah, it is so tough to be a pro manager. I wish the dude well in the future.
man my name is gonna age like fine wine