Notebook: Timbers a curse for English managers?

PORTLAND, Ore.– English club Preston North End, who played the Portland Timbers in an exhibition match at PGE Park in July, announced earlier this week the dismissal of manager Paul Simpson from the team after a slow start to the 2007-08 season. Simpson’s removal marks the third consecutive season in which an English club manager has been sacked the season following their exhibition match against the Timbers.
 
The last three English clubs to play the Timbers at PGE Park on their preseason U.S. tours – Sunderland AFC (2005), Coventry City FC (2006) and Preston North End (2007) – have all coincidently fired each of their managers at some point during the following season.
 
Simpson joins former Sunderland manager Mick McCarthy (let go in March, 2006) and former Coventry City head boss Micky Adams (fired in January, 2007) on the list of English club managers to get the boot from their club. Neither Simpson, McCarthy nor Adams were able to coach their teams to preseason exhibition wins over the Timbers at PGE Park.
 
With Simpson at the helm this season, Preston North End was 3-7-6 (15pts) and currently is just one point clear of the relegation zone at the bottom of the Coca-Cola English League Championship. Assistants Rob Kelly, Billy Barr and Dave Timmins will manage the team until a permanent replacement is found. The Timbers defeated Preston North End 2-1 at PGE Park on July 28 with a pair of goals from forward Matt Taylor.
 
Timbers players / coaches join broadcast teams for OSAA HS soccer finals Saturday
Members of the Timbers’ 2007 squad will join the broadcast teams for the OSAA high school soccer finals on Saturday. Defender Cameron Knowles will assist with the play calling of the boy’s 5A final between Cleveland and Glencoe. Defender Scot Thompson will provide analysis for the girl’s 6A final between Central Catholic and Lincoln and assistant coach Rod Underwood will assist in the broadcasts of both the boys and girls smaller school finals. Click here for match times and links to online webcasts.