PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- John Spencer, the affable coach of the Portland Timbers who helped prepare the team for the jump to Major League Soccer last season, has been fired.
Team owner Merritt Pauslon announced the firing on Monday.
The Timbers, coming off a 3-0 loss at Real Salt Lake on Saturday, are 5-8-4 and in next-to-last place in the league's Western Conference, with no road wins.
General manager Gavin Wilkinson will coach the team for the remainder of the year.
Spencer issued a statement via the team: "I want to personally thank Merritt Paulson and the Paulson family for the opportunity to be the first head coach in the history of the MLS Timbers. Also, I want to thank all the coaches, staff, players and fans associated with the team.
"I very much enjoyed my time with the club and wish everyone the best."