Knowles, 29, (above, right) enters his first season as an assistant coach and joins Mike Toshack and Amos Magee on Spencer’s coaching staff. He played professionally for seven seasons, including four with the Timbers from 2007-10. Knowles was originally drafted by Real Salt Lake in the 2005 MLS Supplemental Draft and played two seasons in MLS.
“I'm really pleased we can add Cameron to our staff,” said Spencer. “Having played here before, he knows the culture and the passion of this city and also the high demands placed on us from our great support.”
During his playing career with the Timbers, Knowles was a three-time USL First Division all-league selection and helped Portland claim the Commissioner’s Cup in 2009 as the league’s regular-season champion. He was a finalist for the league’s Defender of the Year award in 2007. In total, Knowles played in 77 games for the Timbers, which ranks among the club’s second-division career leaders.
“I’m very excited about the transition into coaching,” said Knowles. “It is an honor to be a part of the Timbers once again and to be presented with this opportunity within the organization. It was an amazing experience to play for the Timbers and, as a coach, I look forward to being a part of the club’s growth and success in MLS.”
A native of Auckland, New Zealand, Knowles’ playing career also includes time in the North American Soccer League with the Montreal Impact during the 2011 season.
Knowles started his professional career in 2005 as a member of Real Salt Lake’s inaugural roster. He had a standout collegiate career at the University of Akron, where he was a two-time All-Mid-American Conference first-team selection and led the Zips to four straight NCAA tournament appearances.