PORTLAND, Ore. – In advance of two formal presentations later this week, the Portland Timbers announced Tuesday the hiring of three members of John Spencer's coaching staff: Trevor James and Amos Magee as assistants and Adam Smith as goalkeepers coach.
James, 49, comes to Portland after five seasons with the Los Angeles Galaxy, where he helped the club to a 2009 MLS Cup appearance. Spencer said he came into contact with James over the course of years traveling around the league.
“I’ve known Trevor since he started working with the Galaxy, so I’ve known him a few years,” Spencer said. “Mostly it was in passing, at combines and through college scouting. I spoke to him over the years and got to liking the guy, his theories and philosophies.”
Spencer said that when Timbers hired him in August, James was one of the names he had in mind to approach about joining him. He called James months ago to inquire about approaching the Galaxy for permission to interview him for the job.
The deal with James was worked out over the last week. Magee and Smith worked previously with the Timbers’ second-division side. The team also appointed two other incumbents, Nik Wald as head athletic trainer and Karim Derqaoui as strength and conditioning coach.
Spencer said he envisions a coaching staff that works together on virtually everything rather than assigning assistants specific responsibilities.
“Everyone is going to be given room to have a say,” Spencer said. “We’ll be in this together. I think we’ve assembled a good, experienced group of guys. Trevor is a little bit older and wiser than the rest of the group.”
In addition to serving as an assistant coach, James was also the Galaxy’s director of player development and oversaw the club’s youth academy. Prior to joining Los Angeles in 2006, James coached at various levels in England, including work at Ipswich Town, Colchester United and as a first-team assistant and chief scout at Cambridge United.
Spencer knew Magee and Smith for a number of years as well, making their elevation to staff positions with the new MLS franchise smooth.
Magee, 39, is a former MLS player who coached with the Timbers for two years. He helped coach the team to back-to-back playoff appearances, win the 2009 USL First Division regular-season championship and a league-record, 24-game unbeaten streak in 2009. Before joining the Timbers’ sidelines, he was the head coach for the Minnesota Thunder of United Soccer Leagues from 2006 to 2008 and also coached with the US Maccabi Men’s Open Team.
Smith, 39, first joined the Timbers for the club’s USSF D-2 season in 2010 and oversaw Portland’s goalkeeping unit that ranked among league leaders in shutouts (13) and fewest goals allowed (23) and finished with a combined 0.76 goals-against average.
With more than 19 years of coaching experience at the professional, collegiate and youth levels, Smith's credentials include two seasons (2003 and '04) with the Wilmington Hammerheads, where he won the USL Second Division title in 2003 as a player/assistant coach.