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Crew fire Porter as coach after missing MLS playoffs

Two years after guiding the Columbus Crew to the Major League Soccer title, Caleb Porter was fired on Monday as the Crew’s coach after missing out on a playoff berth.

The 47-year-old American, who also guided Portland to an MLS Cup crown in 2015, took over as coach of the Crew in 2019 to replace Gregg Berhalter, who had departed to become manager of the United States national team.

Porter went 52-46 with 39 drawn over four seasons with Columbus, but the Crew finished 10-8 with a league-high 16 drawn this year and lost the last Eastern Conference playoff berth with a 2-1 defeat Sunday at Orlando in the regular-season finale.

“Our players and coaching staff gave everything we had, but unfortunately the past two years we missed the playoffs on decision day,” Porter said. “It’s a bottom-line business and I accept responsibility for the club falling short of our goals.”

Porter, who had one year remaining on his contract, missed the playoffs in three of his four Crew campaigns but directed a perfect playoff run in 2020 that culminated with a 3-0 victory over Seattle in the MLS Cup Final and the first title for Columbus since 2008.

“This is not a decision we took lightly,” Crew presidents and general manager Tim Bezbatchenko said in a statement. “He joined the club ahead of 2019 and provided steady leadership at a critical moment of historic transition for the Crew.”

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