Having made just three starts since joining the Portland Timbers in late-June, Liam Ridgewell’s last-minute call-up to the MLS All-Star game came as a surprise even to the former West Bromwich Albion man himself, who is still in the process of moving into his new house.
With Timbers head coach Caleb Porter taking charge of the All-Stars for Wednesday’s match against Pep Guardiola's Bayern Munich, Ridgewell was named as a replacement for the injured Kyle Beckerman, and the defender was so shocked upon receiving the news that he almost fell off a ladder while decorating.
‘I got the news yesterday morning,’ he told reporters prior to All-Star training at Providence Park in Portland, where the games it set to take place.
‘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.'
With many worthy players missing out on the match, despite impressing in the first half of the season, the move has not sat too well with some, and Porter has admitted that Ridgewell’s selection simply came down to logistical issues.
‘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,’ he said. ‘Liam will be a quality addition.’
While he may not be a deserving selection in the traditional sense, Ridgewell at least carries with him the experience of more than 250 Premier League appearances during spells at Aston Villa, Birmingham City and West Brom, having been a regular with the latter during the 2013-14 campaign.
Despite Bayern still being in pre-season mode, Wednesday’s clash will prove a tough test, and the 30-year-old’s past track record arguably makes him one of the top defensive candidates in MLS to handle the star-studded opposition.