A Portland Timbers announcer was heard criticizing head coach Phil Neville live on air during a match Wednesday night. The club was playing a Major League Soccer Western Conference clash against the San Jose Earthquakes on the night. As Portland entered the halftime break down 2-0, the announcer did not realize that his mic was still live.

After the match, radio broadcaster Adam Susman admitted that he was the voice heard during the broadcast. “You want to come coach this team? You want to come coach this team? Can’t be any worse,” Susman asked his producer as the two teams exited the field.

Despite the criticism, Portland fought back to win the game dramatically. Neville’s squad netted four second-half goals to grab all three points. Three of these scores came after the 80th-minute mark. The match turned in favor of the Timbers partially due to San Jose defender Bruno Wilson receiving a red card in the 72nd minute.

MLS radio announcer issues apology to Phil Neville via social media

Susman initially joined the Timbers in February of 2022 as the club’s play-by-play announcer for their preseason tournament. Along with working in the booth during games, the University of Oregon alum also hosts the MLS side’s pregame, halftime, and postgame show as well.

Following the comments, Susman took to social media to apologize to Neville. “There was a hot-mic moment before the halftime show of Portland vs. San Jose tonight. I want to hop in front of it and let everyone know it was me,” Susman. “I’m extremely sorry and embarrassed it happened.”

“I try to be objective but ultimately, I prefer when the Timbers win. Based on the scoreline at half I was frustrated, making an ill-fated joke to my producer.”

“I don’t want this mistake to define the amount of work I’ve put in and will continue to put in. I love being part of the radio team and upset with myself I put that in jeopardy.”

“I’m most of all sorry to Phil Neville who is kind enough to give me time before every match for a one-on-one interview and I’ve learned so much about the game from him already. I see how much he gives behind the scenes and his level of care for this club is more than anyone.”

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Neville has endured tough freshman campaign with club

Neville was brought in as Portland’s manager in November of 2023. The decision to hire the former Manchester United and Everton defender was not, however, popular. Timbers Army, a key fan group of the club, publicly voiced their disappointment in the hiring. Nevertheless, team officials went ahead with the move anyway.

With Neville at the helm, Portland currently sits 11th of 14 clubs in the Western Conference standings. The Timbers have managed to win just three of their first 13 matches so far this season. The recent comeback victory against San Jose was their first win in over two months.

Wednesday’s triumph will likely now ease a bit of pressure on Neville though. The coach has been under fire for much of the 2024 campaign and recently fumed during a postgame press conference following a loss against rivals Seattle. Neville will now hope for some momentum heading into their next game against Minnesota on Saturday, May 18.

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