Caleb Porter in the news: Portland Timbers head coach walks with John Canzano and talks with Grant Wahl and the Oregonian
Three great interviews with Caleb Porter on his philosophy, overcoming failure & more
November 21, 2013
Fresh from being named a finalist for the 2013 MLS Coach of the Year, Portland Timbers head coach Caleb Porter took a long lap around the JELD-WEN Field pitch with Oregonian sportswriter John Canzano for a unique and wide-ranging interview. Talking about the 2013 season, his first Timbers game as a spectator and his hopes for this weekend's game against RSL, it's a personal chat about his time so far in the Rose City.
Meanwhile, Sports Illustrated's Grant Wahl also penned a great profile on Porter though he approached it from a different angle. Beginning with Porter's disappointment in not getting the U.S. Soccer men's U-23 team to qualify for the London 2012 Olympics, the story explains how Porter examined that experience and wrote a 150 page report looking at every element surronding it. After his intense self-examination Porter, in Wahl's words, "punched that failure in the nose — knocked it out cold — and started working again."
"I felt it was something I had to do to learn from it," says Porter, who had built an NCAA powerhouse at Akron from 2006 to 2012. "International coaching is very cruel. I lost one game in five months, and in the end it wasn't enough. And now I'm a failure and I can't coach and I don't know what I'm doing. But you have to listen to that. It was very humbling, and it hardened me too. To go into a pro environment you have to have thick skin and deal with that. I needed that in some ways to be ready."
Taking that experience with U.S. Soccer and re-channeling it into a new head coachign position in MLS with the Timbers, Porter has engineered the biggest one-year turnaround in goal-differential in MLS history, +43, while leading the team to the top of the Western Conference in the regular season and on the cusp of an MLS Cup appearance. Through a series of interviews with a wide range of players, past coaches, and colleagues, The Oregonian's Jamie Goldberg takes a look at Porter's journey from a hard-nosed midfielder at the University of Indiana to the Rose City. Jerry Yeagley, the lengendary college coach and Porter's mentor at Indiana said of his one-time Hoosier captain: