Timbers fire head coach John Spencer

Credit: Getty Images

PORTLAND, OR - MARCH 31: Head Coach John Spencer of the Portland Timbers watches the game against of Real Salt Lake at Jeld-Wen Field on March 31, 2012 in Portland, Oregon. (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)

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by KGW Staff

Bio | Email | Follow: @KGWNews

kgw.com

Posted on July 9, 2012 at 11:00 AM

Updated Wednesday, Oct 30 at 8:05 AM

Poll:
Agree with decision to fire John Spencer as coach of Portland Timbers?

PORTLAND -- Portland Timbers Coach John Spencer has been fired, according to the Owner and President of the Portland Timbers.

Merritt Paulson made the announcement during a press conference Monday afternoon.

Photos: Timbers Coach John Spencer

"I am a big believer in accountability," Paulson said. "There is egg on my face in making my decision so soon... no question about it. However if the decision is the right one, we need to put the organization first and move ahead."

John Canzano, who is a KGW sports commentator and Oregonian columnist, was first to report the news on his twitter account @JohnCanzanoBFT.

Spencer was the Timbers first coach as an MLS team. The team is 5-8-4 with no road wins.

Paulson said that Timbers general manager Gavin Wilkinson will serve as head coach for the remainder of the season.

Spencer was hired on Aug. 11, 2010. In the Scotsman's first year as coach, the Timbers finished 11-14-9. The 11 victories tied the team with the 2006 Houston Dynamo for fourth on the list of wins for an expansion team. Portland is 9-5-3 at home and 7-6-4 against Western Conference opponents.

Paulson praised Spencer's character and professionalism during his time as the Timbers head coach.

“I want to personally thank Merritt Paulson and the Paulson family for the opportunity to be the first head coach in the history of the MLS Timbers. Also, I want to thank all the coaches, staff, players and fans associated with the team. I very much enjoyed my time with the club and wish everyone the best,” Spencer said in a statement released Monday.

The new MLS franchise that became wildly popular in Portland. Demand for season tickets at Jeld-Wen Field was so high in the off-season the Timbers increased the allotment this season by 2,000 seats, with a remaining waiting list of some 5,000 supporters. The team also increased stadium seating capacity to more than 20,000.

But while the Timbers were still a major draw, selling out all their MLS home games this season, the enthusiastic fan base has been vocal in calling for on-field results.

Wilkinson joined the Timbers in 2001 as a player when the team was part of the USL First Division. He was coach of the second-division Timbers from 2007-10 and was an assistant with the Houston Dynamo for five seasons before coming to Portland.

Spencer played professionally for 18 seasons, with stints in Scotland, England and with the MLS Colorado Rapids. A striker, he scored 43 goals for Chelsea from 1992-96.

More: Get the latest Timbers and MLS news, scores, standings and schedules on the free PORTLAND SOCCER app for mobile from KGW.com:

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