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Liam Ridgewell Rumored to be Joining the Portland Timbers

29-year-old defender is in the US and out of contract. Does that mean he's signing with Portland?

Michael Regan

After yet another catastrophic defensive performance and an even more candid assessment from Caleb Porter than normal, perhaps it is fitting that another English defender has been linked with the Portland Timbers. This time it's Liam Ridgewell, the out-of-contract 29-year-old former Aston Villa, Birmingham City and West Bromwich Albion player.

Over the weekend, the Wolverhampton-based Express & Star newspaper included a brief mention of Ridgewell, who has spent his entire professional career in the West Midlands, as being a target of the Timbers. Since then, keen followers have been watching Ridgewell's Twitter feed to see if he leaves Las Vegas, where he was on vacation.

After Porter mentioned an unnamed player who was unavailable to play and then a tallish man (Ridgewell is 6'2") was spotted in Merritt Paulson's suite on Wednesday night, the interest in Ridgewell has intensified.

With Futty Danso recently traded and Rauwshan McKenzie benched at half-time in favor of Danny O'Rourke, now would seem to be exactly the time to bring in an experienced but not-too-old defender. At least at the right price. Presumably Ridgewell would not be on Designated Player money, especially if Porter and Gavin Wilkinson do indeed have further plans for summer recruitment.

As a free agent, Ridgewell need not wait until the summer transfer window formally opens. Though it seems like the Timbers were nice enough to let him have a few drinks by the pool in Vegas first. Then again, Ridgewell is most (in)famous for an episode involving £20 notes, a bathroom and a creative use for his newfound cash, not long after signing with West Brom. So far, no similar images have been revealed from Vegas.

Is this the kind of signing the club needs to make at this point in the season? Or should they hold out for a bigger name, be it Joleon Lescott or someone else?