• Sat. Dec 9th, 2023

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Portland Timbers GM: “Tough decisions” ahead this offseason

Portland Timbers GM: "Tough decisions" ahead this offseason

That was the theme of general manager Ned Grabavoy’s press conference Thursday, where he took stock of a season he admitted fell short of expectations.

“Obviously, it was an incredibly frustrating season on many levels,” Grabavoy said. “We could probably point to all the challenges and adversity we faced as a group. But we have to accept that we fell short and simply put, it wasn’t good enough.

“… I think when you miss the playoffs two years in a row, you have to take that honest approach, you have to have those tough decisions and conversations,” he added. “We do, we’ve already started.”

A top priority for Grabavoy and club members will be the hiring of a permanent head coach, a job that was left open following the departure of longtime coach Giovanni Savarese in late summer. Assistant Miles Joseph took over on an interim basis with positive results, nearly steering the Timbers back above the playoffs before they were eliminated in a 3-1 Decision Day loss to Houston Dynamo FC at Providence Park.

Grabavoy praised Joseph’s leadership after Savarese’s exit, but did not shed much light on how much consideration he had earned for the permanent role. He added that he expected to provide an update on the process “in the very, very near future, possibly as soon as next week.”

“Miles clearly did a great job, as did many, many other employees who had to step up and take on bigger roles,” Grabavoy said. “I can’t speak highly enough of the many people we have in this building. I’ve communicated this to everyone. Of course we ran into obstacles. Of course we didn’t get the success and the results we wanted. But for me, I proud of the many who are in this building day to day because they showed what it means to be a part of this organization and how important it is to them.

“So, Miles, as far as the lead over the last 10 games, I can’t say enough. I think it’s reflected on and off the field for Miles.”