Liam Ridgewell replaces injured Kyle Beckerman on MLS All-Star team
Liam Ridgewell has been in MLS for all of three games, but he is now an MLS All-Star.
Ridgewell, the Portland Timbers Designated Player and former Premier League center back, has replaced the injured Kyle Beckerman on MLS' team that will play Bayern Munich Wednesday night, the league announced on Tuesday.
Beckerman was hurt in Real Salt Lake's 1-0 triumph over the rival Colorado Rapids on Saturday. Ridgewell's selection is one of convenience, since he is based in Portland, the host of the game. He is not a like-for-like pick, though, as Beckerman plays central midfield. Diego Chara would have been a candidate, with teammates Will Johnson and Diego Valeri already on the roster.
"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," MLS All-Stars and Portland Timbers coach Caleb Porter said in a statement. “Liam will be a quality addition."
It's not the first time a local player has benefited from a last-minute All-Star roster change. In 2012, then-Philadelphia Union midfielder Michael Farfan was added to MLS' matchday roster after Chelsea requested more substitutes for the match at PPL Park, which necessitated the extra spot.
Ridgewell has played every minute of his three games in MLS, with Portland going 2-1-0 in that time. The Timbers fell to the LA Galaxy 3-1 in their most recent outing.
Beckerman is the fifth selected player to pull out of the All-Star Game, with Chad Marshall, Omar Gonzalez, Robbie Keane and Jermain Defoe all not participating. Sporting KC forward Dom Dwyer, Philadelphia midfielder Maurice Edu and D.C. United defenders Bobby Boswell and Sean Franklin have all been added.
Here is the most-current MLS All-Star roster to face Bayern Munich:
GOALKEEPERS: Bill Hamid (D.C. United), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)
DEFENDERS: Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), Aurélien Collin (Sporting Kansas City), Liam Ridgewell (Portland Timbers), Bobby Boswell (D.C. United), Sean Franklin (D.C. United), Michael Parkhurst (Columbus Crew), DeAndre Yedlin (Seattle Sounders FC)
MIDFIELDERS: Osvaldo Alonso (Seattle Sounders FC), Maurice Edu (Philadelphia Union), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Tim Cahill (New York Red Bulls), Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders FC), Will Johnson (Portland Timbers), Diego Valeri (Portland Timbers), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)
FORWARDS: Dom Dwyer (Sporting KC), Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy), Thierry Henry (New York Red Bulls), Obafemi Martins (Seattle Sounders FC), Erick Torres (Chivas USA), Bradley Wright-Phillips (New York Red Bulls)