Timbers name Wilkinson Technical Director of MLS club

PORTLAND, Ore. – The Portland Timbers announced today the club has appointed Gavin Wilkinson as the Technical Director for the Timbers’ Major League Soccer franchise, which is slated to begin play in 2011. Timbers president Merritt Paulson made the announcement.

As technical director, Wilkinson, 36, will oversee team-related areas of the MLS franchise, including scouting, player acquisition and management, coaching personnel, the club’s development team and various youth programs.

“I am delighted to announce that Gavin will be assuming the role of Technical Director,” said Paulson. “Gavin has a tremendous history with the Timbers as a player, coach and general manager, and has served the organization at a high level in each capacity. In particular, Gavin’s player-evaluation acumen coupled with his domestic and international soccer relationships make him the ideal candidate for the technical director position as we move to MLS.”

Wilkinson has been a part of the Timbers organization for nine years, and has served as the club’s general manager and head coach for the past three seasons. Wilkinson will continue as the Timbers head coach in 2010, however assistant coach Amos Magee will assume a larger role on the coaching staff to allow Wilkinson his dual responsibility for the season.

A New Zealand native, Wilkinson earned 38 caps with the New Zealand National Team, and competed in the 1999 and 2003 FIFA Confederations Cups. The defender’s 13-year playing career included time with clubs in six different countries, including Portugal, Ireland, Hong Kong, Singapore and Australia.

Wilkinson played for the Timbers from 2001-06, including the 2005 and 2006 seasons as a player/assistant coach. He currently ranks fourth among modern-franchise career leaders in games (124) and minutes played (10,181).

A two-time USL First Division Coach of the Year, Wilkinson has a 37-22-29 record during his tenure as the Timbers head coach. He guided the club to its only two USL First Division semifinals appearances, won the 2009 Commissioner’s Cup as the USL First Division’s regular-season champion and led the Timbers to a USL First Division-record, 24-game unbeaten streak in 2009.

Wilkinson, who holds an “A” coaching license from USSF, founded the youth club Eastside United, based in Gresham, Ore., upon his arrival in Portland, Ore., in 2001, and helps run the club as a coaching director. He and his wife, Heather, have two children.