English Premier League veteran Liam Ridgewell (pictured) is the newest member of the Portland Timbers. (Photo: FIFA via Getty Images)
PORTLAND, Oregon – The Portland Timbers announced Wednesday the signing of veteran English defender Liam Ridgewell to a multiyear contract.
The 29-year-old spent the last two-and-a-half years with West Bromwich Albion of the Barclay’s Premier League, where he made 33 appearances during the 2013-14 season.
“Liam is a proven defender at the highest level and brings strong leadership qualities along with a wealth of experience,” said Gavin Wilkinson, general manager of the Timbers. “After attending a recent match at Providence Park, Liam was incredibly taken by the fans and atmosphere generated here in Portland and, despite receiving several attractive offers to stay in the Premiership, chose the Timbers due to his belief in the vision and football philosophy of the organization.”
Ridgewell played in more than 350 matches over the course of his 13-year professional year, which also included stops at Aston Villa, Birmingham City and Bournemouth.
"Moving into the summer transfer window it was no secret we were looking to strengthen our squad with a top-level defender, and we are extremely pleased to announce the signing of Liam Ridgewell,” said head coach Caleb Porter. “Liam is still in his prime at only 29 years old and he's been playing game in and out in the English Premier League versus many of the top attacking players in the world."
Portland will make its CONCACAF Champions League debut later this year, when they will face Guyana’s Alpha United and Olimpia of Honduras in Group 5 play.