[PORTLAND DAILY] It isn't often that first-year players are selected to the MLS all-stars. In the last four years, only five first-year players -- including rookie DeAndre Yedlin in 2013 -- were named to the game-day roster, and the only newcomer among this year's initial selections, Jermain Defoe, pulled out with a groin strain. So Englishman Liam Ridgewell was shocked to get a call-up on Monday after all of three MLS appearances.
The Portland Timbers defender, a veteran of 11 EPL seasons with Aston Villa, Birmingham City and West Bromwich Albion, was a last-minute replacement for the injured Kyle Beckerman, out with a foot injury. He was at home using his Monday morning off working on getting his house organized.
“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.”
Ridgewell, whom Timbers coach Caleb Porter brought in so as to not disrupt another team, had hoped to see as a spectator what the All-Star Game was all about. Now, he'll get to see first-hand what it is like.
“For me, it’s something new and it’s just something that’s maybe a one-off thing and I’m really enjoying it,” Ridgewell said. “Hopefully I can enjoy the next two days and enjoy it a little bit more.”
He joins two other Timbers, Will Johnson and Diego Valeri, in the All-Star Game.
2014 AT&T MLS All-Star Roster:
Goalkeeper:Bill Hamid (D.C. United), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)
Defenders: Matt Besler (Sporting KC), Bobby Boswell (D.C. United), Aurelien Collin (Sporting KC), Sean Franklin (D.C. United), Michael Parkhurst (Columbus Crew), Liam Ridgewell (Portland Timbers), DeAndre Yedlin (Seattle Sounders).
Midfielders:Osvaldo Alonso (Seattle Sounders), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Tim Cahill (New York Red Bulls), Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders), Maurice Edu (Philadelphia Union), Will Johnson (Portland Timbers), Diego Valeri (Portland Timbers), Graham Zusi (Sporting KC)
Forwards: Dom Dwyer (Sporting KC), Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy), Thierry Henry (New York Red Bulls), Obafemi Martins (Seattle Sounders), Erick Torres (Chivas USA), Bradley Wright-Phillips (New York Red Bulls).