Wilkinson named finalist for Coach of the Year

PORTLAND, Ore. – United Soccer Leagues announced today that Portland Timbers head coach Gavin Wilkinson has been named as one of four finalists for the 2009 USL First Division Coach of the Year award.

Wilkinson, 35, guided the Timbers to a first-place finish with a record of 16-4-10 (58pts) in 2009, winning the Commissioner’s Cup as the USL First Division regular-season champion. In his third campaign as head coach, the Timbers assembled a league record 24-game unbeaten streak and advanced to the semifinal round of the playoffs for the second time in the last three seasons.

In 2009, Portland scored a league-best 45 goals during the regular season and shared the league mark for fewest goals allowed (19).

Wilkinson was recognized as the USL First Division’s Coach of the Year in 2007 following his first season as the Timbers head coach. The Auckland, New Zealand, native first joined the club as a defender in 2001 and served as a player/assistant coach from 2005-06 before being named the head coach and general manager.

The other finalists for this season’s USL First Division Coach of the Year include Colin Clarke (Puerto Rico Islanders), Marc dos Santos (Montreal Impact) and Martin Rennie (Carolina RailHawks).