Underwood named head coach with Cleveland

PORTLAND, Ore. – Portland Timbers assistant coach Rod Underwood has been named the head coach of the Cleveland City Stars of the USL First Division, it was announced today. He becomes Cleveland’s first head coach since being promoted from the USL Second Division.

“I have enjoyed my time in Portland,” said Underwood. “The Timbers organization has been superb and has a bright future. I’m excited about the opportunity to be the head coach of Cleveland and to be a part of the club’s mission both on and off the field.”

Underwood, 41, joined the Timbers in 2007 and served on the coaching staff under head coach Gavin Wilkinson for the past two seasons.

“We are pleased that Rod’s time here in Portland opened the door to this new opportunity,” said Wilkinson. “It is a great compliment to the Timbers organization to have its coaching staff recruited and sought after. Rod is a great gentleman, and on behalf of the organization, we wish him all the best in his new endeavor.”

Underwood takes the reigns of a Cleveland club that reached the postseason in each of its two seasons in the USL Second Division and captured the USL Second Division title in 2008.

As the head coach of the City Stars, Underwood returns to PGE Park twice during the 2009 regular season to face the Timbers on Sept. 13 and Sept. 17. Portland visits Cleveland on May 9.