COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — A day after its season ended without a spot in the Major League Soccer playoffs, the Columbus Crew fired coach Caleb Porter.
Porter coached the Crew for four seasons, leading the team to the MLS Cup championship in 2020 but then missing the playoffs the past two seasons. The club announced his firing Monday.
Crew president Tim Bezbatchenko thanked Porter for his service.
“Our goal is to consistently contend for championships,” Bezbatchenko said in a statement. “This starts with making the playoffs and then securing a home match as a top-four team in the conference. … We believe that we have a talented core of our roster in place and felt we needed to make a change this offseason as we position ourselves for success.”
The Crew missed a chance to reach the playoffs on the last day of the regular season, falling 2-1 Sunday at Orlando City.
After that game, Porter said he knew his future with the team was uncertain.
“It’s just another game where you go how do we lose? Like, how do we lose? When you look at the play, and you look at everything, we really should not lose that game,” Porter told reporters. “But that’s happened too much this year. I think we’re gonna have to do a deep dive on that and for sure, there’s futures up in the air, probably myself included, who knows, I have no idea where it’s at.”
Porter joined the team after it was saved from relocation to Austin, Texas, and was known for his Ohio ties in leading the University of Akron to a national championship in 2010. He was the club’s coach as it moved from Historic Crew Stadium to Lower.com Field in the Arena District in 2021. He also coached the Portland Timbers of MLS for five seasons and won the 2015 MLS Cup, when they defeated the Crew.
Porter went 45-43-37 as the Crew’s coach.