Timbers coach John Spencer isn't going anywhere—a fact the last 24 hours called into question, then confirmed.
The hand-wringing/head-scratching in Portland started Monday night, when The O's Geoffrey C. Arnold blogged out loud about Portland's fiery skipper
reportedly possibly plausibly potentially returning to Colorado to coach his former team, calling Spencer a "logical top candidate" to lead the Rapids in 2012. Arnold's piece didn't cite any reports or quote any sources, but it did say the club Spencer starred for from 2001-04 "would be foolish to not at least evaluate Spencer—they probably already have."
Turns out Arnold called his shot. He reported Tuesday afternoon that Colorado had indeed put in a formal request to speak to Spencer about his services, but that the request was "flatly rejected" by Timbers management.
“John works for the Portland Timbers, but out of respect for John and his family, we sat down with John and his family and said, ‘Honestly, OK, what do you want?’” said Portland GM Gavin Wilkinson. “And the words out of his mouth were, ‘I want to be in Portland.’ So it’s something that we’re very, very glad [of] here, and we’re happy that he feels that way."
Colorado, which wasn't required to seek permission to speak to its 2009 Gallery of Honor inductee, still holds a special place in Spencer's heart, according to Wilkinson: “(Spencer's) quote to me was, ‘Colorado is home, but Portland is the home of soccer.’"
Ah, shucks, coach, now you've gone ahead and made Timbers Army blush.
Of course, it wouldn't be the first time: Spencer—not one for blowing smoke, mind you—has repeatedly spoken of the Rose City in glowing terms, calling it one of the best places to coach in North America. He's also talked about what he'd do if he weren't the Timbers' coach: "I know that if I was born and raised in Portland and I wasn’t the head coach of this football club," said Spencer after Portland's final home match, "I would be in the Timbers Army, having a few beers, having a few tattoos and I would have a great time in there."
Intriguing as that scenario sounds, I'm thinking Portland fans would rather Spencer stay right where he is.