Pregame balls, Timbers vs. West Brom, 7.20.11

Timbers name Mike Toshack as club's Goalkeeper Coach

PORTLAND, Ore. – The Portland Timbers today announced the appointment of Mike Toshack (TAH-shack) as the club’s goalkeeper coach. Toshack joins the Timbers from the Toronto FC coaching staff. Timbers head coach John Spencer made the announcement.

Toshack, 46, and Spencer are reunited in Portland, as the two worked together previously on the coaching staff for the Houston Dynamo during the 2007 and 2008 seasons and helped Houston win MLS Cup 2007. Toshack has served as a goalkeeper coach in Major League Soccer for five seasons, including the last three with Toronto FC (2009-11).

 Mike Toshack

"I am delighted to add a coach of Mike’s experience to our staff,” said Spencer. “I worked with him in Houston and he has a tremendous amount of quality."

Under his guidance, Toshack’s goalkeepers have regularly ranked among MLS’s top performers each season. In Houston, former goalkeeper Pat Onstad recorded the league’s best goals-against average in 2007. During Toshack’s time at Toronto FC, goalkeeper Stefan Frei was a finalist for the 2009 MLS Rookie of the Year and finished among leaders in saves in 2010 and 2011.

"I am absolutely thrilled to be joining the Portland Timbers,” said Toshack. “The chance to work once again with John Spencer as part of his staff is an opportunity that excites me very much, as he is a top-notch competitor and coach. Add in the vision of owner Merritt Paulson and general manager Gavin Wilkinson, combined with the passion of the Timbers Army, it made the decision to come to Portland very easy."

Toshack, a native of Prescott, Ontario, started his coaching career in the college ranks and was an assistant coach with St. Lawrence University in Canton, N.Y., from 1994-2003. He helped the school to the NCAA Division III championship in 1999. Toshack also served as the goalkeeper coach for the Canada U-20 National Team and coached in the 2001 FIFA World Youth (U-20) Championships in Argentina.

Prior to coaching in MLS, Toshack spent four seasons in the North America second division as the goalkeeper coach for the Montreal Impact (2002-03) and Vancouver Whitecaps (2005-06). Toshack oversaw a standout season by Montreal goalkeeper Greg Sutton, who received USL First Division Goalkeeper of the Year honors in 2003.