Timing critical in the Caleb Porter-to-Portland talk

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I keep hearing that the University of Akron job and Caleb Porter’s loyalty to the school could be an impediment to taking the Portland Timbers’ position.

The college season just started, and Porter’s departure would certainly dent the Zips’ ability to make noise once again in college soccer. Porter has another strong team at Akron, No. 2 in Soccer America’s national preseason rankings.

But why would Caleb Porter need to leave so quickly?

If the Timbers have identified Porter as their primary target, as the best man for the job at Jeld-Wen Field, wouldn’t it make sense to work an arrangement where Porter can coach the college season and then join the Timbers organization in December?

(Now, that $300,000 salary and all those bonuses Porter earns at Akron, which we heard about on Monday’s MLS Extra Time podcast? That could be an impediment. MLS managers aren’t generally flirting with the $400,000 neighborhood.)

Portland is not going anywhere in 2012. In any plausible scenario, the playoffs are out of reach.

Moving into Oregon in December gives Porter plenty of time to plan for the mid-January MLS draft. Heck, his current job is the best possible prep for an MLS draft.

Plus, it doesn’t put Akron in such a bind, which is the right thing to do.