Explained: Portland Timbers' 'liar' controversy between goalkeeper Aljaz Ivacic and Giovanni Savarese

Aljaz Ivacic Portland TimbersGetty Images
  • Ivacic dropped from team against LA Galaxy
  • Keeper says he isn't injured
  • Savarese says he preferred Bingham

WHAT HAPPENED? On Saturday evening, Portland Timbers released their starting lineup against the LA Galaxy, and surprisingly their regular starting goalkeeper, Ivacic, had been dropped from their squad entirely. The early indications were that perhaps the goalkeeper had been injured, however the goalkeeper made it clear to reporters that he was "fit to play" and claimed "everything else you’re gonna hear is a lie.”

WHAT THEY SAID: “It’s unfortunate that a player would go and talk to a reporter in that way," Savarese told reporters after Ivacic spoke out about the situation. "Usually, things are always spoken inside. There is never a lie that’s going to be told. He is still a very important component of our team. Things just need to be earned. They don’t need to be given. And you have to make sure you do a lot of work during the week in order to make sure you can play."

WHY WAS IVACIC DROPPED? Savarese explained his perspective on keeping out Ivacic, telling reporters: “[David] Bingham showed he was the best player on the field, and he had a great match. So, my decision was correct today to make sure I played the right player. Nevertheless, the reason was that Ivacic didn’t train enough this week, he didn’t have enough practice. He said he was ready, and personally, I didn’t feel he would be in a situation where he wouldn’t have gotten injured.”


Giovanni Savarese Portland Timbers 2023Getty Images

THE BIGGER PICTURE: The Timbers have just four points through five matches, which has evidently increased frustration in the locker room.

This page contains affiliate links. When you subscribe through the links provided, we may earn a commission.

Sign up here for MLS Season Pass through Apple TV and watch every MLS match, including the playoffs!

WHAT NEXT? The Timbers are in action again on Saturday against FC Dallas, but it's unclear whether Ivacic will be allowed to feature.