FOXBOROUGH, Mass - Only five games into his Major League Soccer career, Portland Timbers defender Liam Ridgewell is already making memories.
The team has lost only once under his watch (3-1-1), he was a late addition to the 2014 MLS All-Star squad that downed German Bundesliga giants FC Bayern Munich 2-1 at Providence Park, and on Saturday night, the veteran of 11 English Premier League season stayed busy by opening his MLS goal scoring account.
In the 65th minute of a 1-1 draw with the New England Revolution, Ridgewell deposited the key equalizer. Jumping on loose ball at the midfield line, Ridgewell galloped forward 45 yards with a mazy run that split the New England defense.
“I stepped in front of the forward, and it just opened up. I saw the right back tucking in and I thought I better keep going,” said Ridgewell.
The goal was scored in front of the travelling Timbers Army contingent and the Portland subs warming up on near the endline. Moments after the ball went in, Ridgewell cut to the end board, laid down, and then “log-rolled” his way into his reveling teammates.
It was a celebration that had a family connection and Portland meaning as well.
“My brother on his Sunday league team [in England], they do the log roll as their celebration,” explained Ridgewell. “He just had a little girl, Autumn...and I spoke to him on Facetime and they were like, ‘Try to do a log roll.’
Thankfully, I scored a goal. It fits in, really, with the Timbers and I was pleased to be able to do it for him and for all the lads that do it really [back in England].”
The goal helped the Timbers earn a valuable road point and keep them in the race for the MLS playoffs. While the team was keen for a full three points, Ridgewell believes that the fight shown in the second half of the game was a good response after going down a goal in the first half.
“It was good to come back; it showed our resilience and proved to us we can come back after giving up an early goal,” he said.