Timbers, Liam Ridgewell mutually agree to part ways

Fanendo Adi, Liam Ridgewell_233342

Portland Timbers forward Fanendo Adi (9) and defender Liam Ridgewell (24) celebrate Ridgewell’s goal during the first half of the first leg of the MLS soccer Western Conference championship in Portland, Ore., Sunday, Nov. 22, 2015. (AP Photo/Steve Dipaola)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The Portland Timbers and defender Liam Ridgewell mutually decided to part ways.

The announcement was made Thursday morning.

Liam is quite simply one of the most important and influential signings in Timbers history,” Timbers owner Merritt Paulson said. “Not only has he been a top defender in MLS since his arrival, but he is a winner who greatly contributed to our locker room culture. I thank Liam and will miss him.”

The 34-year-old signed with the Timbers during the 2014 season. Across five seasons with the team, he’s made 97 appearances, logging 8,553 minutes and recording six goals and two assists. During his time with the team, Ridgewell helped guide the Timbers to the MLS Cup playoffs three times — winning MLS Cup in 2015.

The two-time MLS All-Star was also named Timbers Defender of the Years in 2014 and 2015 during his career with Portland.

Head coach Giovanni Savarese praised Ridgewell and how much he’s done for the Timbers.

Liam is a high-quality player and professional that played a critical role in our run to MLS Cup this past season,” he said. “It was a great pleasure to work with a player that has been extremely impactful to the success of the Portland Timbers organization. I wish him great success in all of his future pursuits.”

In 2015, Ridgewell started and played in a career-best 32 matches for the Timbers. He also started and played in five matches of the 2015 MLS Cup Playoffs, including 90 minutes in the team’s win over Columbus.

It has been an absolute pleasure playing in Portland for the past five seasons, and I am grateful to the fans and everyone involved for the opportunity,” Ridgewell said. “I am very proud of what we achieved together, and at the same time I am very excited about what the future holds for me as I move on to the next chapter in my career.”

Prior to joining the Timbers, Ridgewell spent 12 seasons in the English Premier League and the English Football League Championship. In 2011, he won the Football League Cup Final with Birmingham City.

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