English football legend Phil Neville is on the brink of securing a new managerial role in Major League Soccer (MLS), signaling a potential return to the United States after his stint at Inter Miami. The former Manchester United star’s journey in American soccer management appears to be far from over, as he eyes the Portland Timbers’ dugout.
Neville’s tenure at Inter Miami, which began in January 2021, was marked by a promising second season that saw the team reach the playoffs. However, a string of poor results led to his abrupt departure in June 2023. His close friend and former teammate, David Beckham, who co-owns Inter Miami, made the tough call to part ways with Neville. The decision came as a shock to many, especially since Beckham’s side had subsequently signed football legends Lionel Messi, Sergio Busquets, and Jordi Alba.
Neville, unfortunately, didn’t get the chance to coach these star players, as Gerardo Martino, the former Barcelona and Argentina coach, was named as his successor.
Following his departure from Florida, Neville took on the assistant manager role for the Canadian national team. He was part of the coaching staff during the CONCACAF Nations League final, where Canada lost to the United States, and the Gold Cup, where the USA defeated them in the quarter-finals. Despite these setbacks, Neville’s enthusiasm for coaching in North America remained unshaken.
The latest reports suggest that Phil Neville is in advanced talks to become the new manager of the Portland Timbers. The team finished in the tenth spot in the Western Conference this season, narrowly missing out on a playoff spot by just one point.
If Neville does take the helm at the Timbers, he’ll face a substantial task ahead. The club is on the brink of a rebuild, with several key players expected to depart. This will be an opportunity for Neville to leave his mark on the team and to guide them to greater success.
As he embarks on this new chapter, the Portland Timbers and their fans eagerly await his arrival, hoping for a resurgence under his guidance. Only time will tell if Neville can replicate his success at Inter Miami in his next MLS venture.