Newly appointed Revolution head coach Caleb Porter experienced a major health scare during his year away from Major League Soccer in 2023, acknowledging in recent interviews that he was diagnosed with prostate cancer.
“These things, you don’t see coming. Certainly it was life-changing,” said Porter. “Unlike most coaches, I don’t go to the doctor. So I hadn’t seen a doctor pretty much my whole life. My wife in the year off was like, ‘You probably should start to see a doctor,’ so I went and got a check, and it came back that I had prostate cancer. So at first you’re going, ‘OK wow, what does that mean?’
“Then like anything, you attack it, and you fight it,” he continued. “For me, it was just another fight along my journey. The great news is I’m cancer free. I’ve had two blood tests and I’m completely healthy.”
Porter, 48, was head coach of the Columbus Crew in his previous role, leading the team to an MLS Cup win in 2020 (defeating the Revolution in the Eastern Conference Finals that season). He was fired by Columbus at the end of the 2022 season after missing the playoffs for the second straight year. Yet as he begins his New England tenure, Porter said that the scary situation he confronted during his time away from the game ultimately made him “better for it.”
“My perspective on life is better,” he told CBS Sports. “I’m appreciating everything more, including my family and my work. Even just being here at my third club, I find myself loving everything just a little bit more.”
Porter has two MLS Cup wins in his managerial career, with Columbus and also the Portland Timbers in 2015.
His championship success at his two previous leading MLS roles is one of the reasons why he was hired in New England (a club that has not yet won MLS Cup despite reaching the final five times in its history).
Asked about the expectations he set for the players at the team’s first preseason training on Monday, Porter was straightforward.
“I told them yesterday, I’m here to help them win trophies,” he said. “I’d love to help them win an MLS Cup. It’s not easy. It’s going to take time. It’s a long process. There’s going to be ups and downs. It may not happen the first year. Maybe it’s the second year. Maybe it’s the third year, but ultimately we have to keep our eye on that, and our vision has to be there to win that.”
As for the roster he’s inheriting in New England, Porter seemed bullish on the team’s chances.
“I think it’s a really good blend of experienced MLS veterans, some young talents, and some top foreign talents,” he noted of New England, which was a playoff team in 2023. “I really like the roster.”
Still, he left the door open to potential future transactions as the club gets itself ready for meaningful games to begin in February.
“We do still have some room as well, and I think that’s good,” Porter said of the squad. “You don’t want to go into the season without room, and we do have flexibility in the roster to add if we feel we need to add a piece or two.”
Hayden Bird can be reached at email@example.com.