Caleb Porter — Head Coach
Caleb Porter became the eighth Head Coach in Columbus Crew history on January 4, 2019. The 44-year-old joined the Crew following a five-year stint with the Portland Timbers (2013-2017) during which he won one MLS Cup (2015), one Cascadia Cup (2017) and MLS Coach of the Year (2013) honors. In addition to coaching at the professional level, Porter served as Head Coach of the U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team from 2011-2012 and Head Coach of the University of Akron from 2006-2012.
Porter led the Crew to its second MLS Cup in Club history in 2020, as the Black & Gold defeated Seattle Sounders FC 3-0 at Historic Crew Stadium. The trophy was Porter's second MLS Cup, making him one of only six coaches to lift the trophy twice, as well as one of only three coaches - along with Bruce Arena and Sigi Schmid - to win the MLS Cup with two different clubs. In 2021, Porter led the Black & Gold to the Club's first international trophy, as the Crew defeated Liga MX side Cruz Azul 2-0 at Lower.com Field to win the 2021 Campeones Cup.
During his time with the Portland Timbers, Porter posted a record of 68-50-52 from 2013-2017. In 2013, his first season as a professional soccer head coach, Porter led the Timbers to a first-place finish in the Western Conference - guiding the team to a 23-point improvement and a plus-43 goal-differential increase from the previous season and securing the club’s first postseason berth. For his performance as head coach during the 2013 regular-season, Porter was voted MLS Coach of the Year.
The following season, Porter led Portland to the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Semifinals – the highest-ever finish for the club in the tournament – while also coaching the Timbers in the 2014-2015 CONCACAF Champions League, the club’s first international tournament. The 2014 season also saw Porter be named Head Coach for the MLS All-Star Team, guiding his side to a 2-1 victory over Bayern Munich of the German Bundesliga.
In 2015, Porter won his first piece of professional silverware, as Portland won the Western Conference Championship en route to winning their first MLS Cup in a match-up against Crew SC. In 2016, Porter led the Timbers to a second-place finish in the group stage of the 2016-2017 CONCACAF Champions League, missing out on advancing to the knockout stage by just one point. The following year, Porter guided Portland to a Cascadia Cup – his first with the club – while also leading the team to another first-place finish in the Western Conference.
Prior to his time in MLS, Porter, who holds a U.S. Soccer Federation “Pro” license, served as head coach of the University of Akron from 2006-2012. During that span, Porter compiled a record of 123-18-17, guiding Akron to one NCAA College Cup (2010), seven consecutive Mid-American Conference regular-season Championships (2006-2012) and five MAC Tournament titles (2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012). Porter earned several honors during his tenure as Head Coach of the Zips, including National Soccer Coaches Association of America National Coach of the Year (2009), NSCAA All-Ohio Coach of the Year (2008, 2009, 2011) and MAC Coach of the Year (2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012).
While head coach of the Zips, Porter also worked as the head coach of the U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team from 2011-2012. Prior to that, he spent three years as an assistant coach on the U.S. U-18 National Team from 2009-2011, also while working for the Zips. Before coaching at the University of Akron, Porter served as an assistant coach at Indiana University from 2000-2005, helping the Hoosiers win back-to-back NCAA College Cups (2003, 2004), as well as five straight Big Ten Conference regular-season championships (2000-2004) and two Big Ten Conference Tournaments (2001, 2003).
As a player, Porter was selected by the San Jose Clash in the Third Round of the 1998 MLS College Draft, with the 27th overall pick. He made four regular-season appearances (one start) for San Jose before joining the Tampa Bay Mutiny the following year. In 2000, Porter was forced to retire from playing professional soccer due to knee injuries. At the collegiate level, he played for Indiana University from 1994-1997, serving as captain for three of his four years. A midfielder, Porter helped the Hoosiers win three Big Ten Conference regular-season championships (1994, 1996, 1997) and four consecutive Big Ten Conference Tournaments (1994, 1995, 1996, 1997). He also played two seasons with the U.S. National B Team in 1996 and 1997, earning a bronze medal at the 1997 World University Games.