MLS Offseason Notebook: Porter signs extension, more

IMAGE, PORTLAND TIMBERS

By Ryan Brister

Caleb Porter signs contract extension with Timbers: Gregg Berhalter extended his contract in Columbus earlier this month, and now the winning coach of last year’s MLS Cup has an extension as well. Caleb Porter has extended his stay with the Portland Timbers, inking a long-term deal announced Wednesday. Porter has led the team to the playoffs in two of his three seasons, and won the Coach of the Year award in 2013 in addition to the club’s first title last fall. He has a 41-25-36 record in regular season play.

LA Galaxy sign Jelle Van Damme: Ashley Cole wasn’t the only defender signed this week by LA. On Tuesday they announced the signing of Belgian international defender Jelle Van Damme, who was last playing for Standard Liege. Van Damme, 32, has 31 caps for Belgian, but hasn’t featured for his country in some time.

Atlanta United stadium delayed: Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta will not be done in time for the start of the 2017 MLS season as originally planned. The 72,000-seat venue is now scheduled to be done next June, which could result in a lengthy road trip to start Atlanta United’s existence. The delay stems from the steel structure required to support the retractable roof. Owner Arthur Blank has not ruled out the possibility of the team playing games at a temporary venue.

Conor Casey signs with Columbus: Columbus Crew SC has signed a likely backup to Kei Kamara in the form of 34-year-old Conor Casey. The imposing striker has 71 goals in nine MLS seasons, but made just 16 appearances in all competitions last year for the Philadelphia Union.


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