November 7 – Former Valencia, England women and Inter Miami manager Phil Neville is set to be announced as the new Portland Timbers head coach as the ex-United star returns to MLS after an underwhelming spell in Florida.
After being sacked by Inter Miami in June, who sat rock bottom of the table, to make way for Tata Martino and Lionel Messi, Neville became part of the Canada national team coaching staff for the Gold Cup. Since his introduction into the coaching setup, the team have won two, drawn two and lost three at the hands of USA twice and a recent thumping by Japan.
Replacing long-term manager Giovanni Savarese at Portland Timbers, Neville’s contract runs until 2026.
Since retiring from professional football in 2013, Neville has taken the reigns at Men’s sides Salford City and Inter Miami alongside a lengthy spell at England Women’s, which is widely deemed his most successful career venture post-retirement.
However, the Timbers Army support group have urged club against hiring the ex-United man because of historic tweets that were sexist in nature.
Neville has since apologised for the posts and said they “are not a true and genuine reflection of either my character or beliefs”.
The Timbers Army statement said: “We are deeply disappointed that the club has reportedly settled on a finalist for head coach who has a history of sexist public statements that run counter to our ethos as a club, city and supporters’ group, and who also lacks a proven track record as a manager.”
Neville is set to be unveiled by the Timbers at a press conference scheduled for Tuesday. The 2015 MLS Cup champions parted company with Savarese in August, concluding his five-and-a-half-year run as head coach. During the transition, assistant coach Miles Joseph has been in charge.
Portland Timbers are set for a lengthy spell away from competitive football having failed to qualify for the play-offs, giving Neville time to build his team.
Contact the writer of this story, Harry Ewing, at firstname.lastname@example.org