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Portland Timbers hire former Inter Miami coach Phil Neville through 2026 season

Phil Neville, who was fired as Inter Miami coach in early June, shortly before Lionel Messi joined the team, on Monday was named head coach of the Portland Timbers.

Neville’s contract runs through 2026 and he will be formally introduced at a press conference on Tuesday.

“We are thrilled to welcome Phil Neville as the new head coach of the Portland Timbers, and we look forward to making Phil and his family feel at home in Portland,” said general manager Ned Grabavoy. “Phil’s character makes him the right person to lead this team forward as we continue to reshape the group with a goal of returning to sustained success. His leadership qualities, diverse experience as a coach, and ambition to evolve made him a terrific fit here with us in Portland.”

Neville, 46, was named Inter Miami coach before the 2021 season. In 2022, he led Miami to a sixth-place finish in the Eastern Conference with a record of of 14-14-6 (48 pts), earning a postseason berth and the team’s best finish to date.

“I am massively excited about the challenge ahead, and from the very first moment I met the staff I knew it was the right opportunity for me, the right club for me and the right city for me,” said Neville. “The fans are the most important part of this football club with their intensity and support, and I think this journey is going to be something special. I have great memories visiting Portland, which reminds me of Manchester, my hometown, and I can’t wait for my family to get to know this beautiful city.”

Neville was also a candidate for jobs with the New England Revolution and D.C. United. Former Inter Miami assistant coach Jason Kreis is expected to join Neville’s staff in Portland.

Portland fired long-time coach Gio Savarese on Aug. 21 after a 5-0 loss to the Houston Dynamo. The loss dropped the Timbers to 6-8-10 and 12th place in the Western Conference. Miles Joseph was named interim coach. Under Joseph, the Timbers went 5-2-2 and nearly made the playoffs, finishing one point below short.