Giovanni Savarese steers Portland Timbers to Western Conference Championship series in first year at helm

Nov 23, 2018 953

BY: Jamie Goldberg

Portland Timbers coach Giovanni Savarese pumped his fists as he joyfully celebrated with his players in the locker room at CenturyLink Field in Seattle on Nov. 8. The Timbers had just ousted their rivals, the Seattle Sounders, on penalty kicks in the second leg of an epic Western Conference semifinal. Portland had been the decided underdog entering the playoff series against a Seattle team who had won 14 of its last 16 matches. But with Savarese leading the way, the Timbers came together to play their best soccer at the right time.

After the game, Savarese was quick to give the players credit for the win. But the role he played in guiding the Timbers to that point could not be overlooked. Through late nights poring over game film and hundreds of demanding hours on the training pitch, Savarese had instilled his vision into the club in his first year at the helm, leading the Timbers deep into postseason in what could have been a transitional year for a team adjusting to a new coach.

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