A month after West Brom declined to pick up the option on Liam Ridgewell's contract, the 30-year-old defender (reading mean tweets about himself in the video above) signed with the Portland Timbers as a Designated Player. And now, with three whole matches of MLS experience under his belt, he's been named to the 23-man All-Star team that will face Bayern Munich on Wednesday in Portland.
Ridgewell is a late replacement for injured midfielder Kyle Beckerman in the squad supposedly comprised of the league's best. But upon learning the news, Ridgewell nearly had to be replaced himself. From Soccer America:
“I got the news yesterday morning,” Ridgewell told reporters before training with the all-stars on Tuesday. “I’ve just moved into a new house, so me and my old man were putting up curtains for our son and daughter, and I got the phone call that I had been drafted in for the game. I nearly fell off the ladder.”
Of course, All-Star games aren't anywhere near important enough to warrant outrage over something as ludicrous as a player with 270 minutes of experience in league being named one of the best so far this season. In fact, a move like this might help some people keep the nature of this match in perspective.
[Get in the game: Sign up for Yahoo Fantasy Premier League]
Portland Timbers coach Caleb Porter, who is also serving as coach for the All-Star team, explained the decision in the most professional variation of "Does it really matter?" he could muster. From MLSsoccer.com:
"Under the circumstances in losing a player at this late point in time, I felt it was best to pull in a player that wouldn't disrupt the other clubs and their preparation this week,” Porter said in a statement. “Liam will be a quality addition."
From getting released by a Premier League club that just avoided relegation to facing Bayern Munich as a member of the MLS All-Star team in a three-month span — Liam Ridgewell is the American dream.
- - - - - - -