Liam Ridgewell leaves Portland for short-term Brighton loan move

Liam Ridgewell has left the Portland Timbers in order to return to English football for the second year running by moving to Brighton & Hove Albion on a short-term loan deal.

Ridgewell will be eligible to play for Brighton from January 1 and will spend time with the Championship club until February 13, when he will then return to Portland to prepare for the 2016 season.

Brighton had enjoyed a fine start to the 2015/16 Championship season and were unbeaten for 21 games, until Middlesbrough beat them 3-0 two weeks ago, and Chris Hughton’s men have now not won in five.

Hughton worked with Ridgewell during their time at Birmingham City and he hopes that the signing of the versatile 31-year-old defender can help get his side back on track over the next six weeks.

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“I know Liam very well from my time as manager at Birmingham City, and he is an excellent and important addition for us,” Hughton told the club’s official website.

“He will bring extra experience to our defence at a crucial time, and will give me an option both in the centre of defence and at left-back.”

Ridgewell will hope the loan move will keep his match fitness levels up before returning to Portland as the Timbers look to retain their MLS Cup title – an achievement that Ridgewell labelled as “the best feeling of my career”.

Will Liam Ridgewell help Brighton get back on track? Are Portland fans happy to see him move back to England in another loan move?

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Transfer update: Reading join chase for LA Galaxy forward Gyasi Zardes

LA Galaxy forward Gyasi Zardes is a man in demand. The 23-year-old attacker has been developing into an impressive talent with the Galaxy and the US Men’s National Team over the past two years and teams in Europe have been taking note.

English Championship side Reading FC have now joined the hunt for Zardes, according to a report by the Reading Chronicle on Friday.

The report indicates: “Sources have since confirmed that 23-year-old Zardes is very much on Royals’ radar and the club will attempt to force through a deal before the September 1 transfer deadline.”

It goes on to mention that fellow American Danny Williams could provide an extra incentive for Zardes to make the jump across the pond to play in England, as he currently plays for Reading.

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Reading’s rivals, Brighton & Hove Albion, as well as Belgian club Genk are also looking at making a move for Zardes as his future could lie away from MLS.

Gyasi Zardes signed with the LA Galaxy in December 2012 on a Homegrown contract and has gone on to score 25 times in 80 league games.

The Galaxy have recently signed Steven Gerrard and Giovani Dos Santos, so although Zardes remains a key part of the first-team squad, the reigning MLS Cup holders could look to cash in if the right offer arrives.

Should LA Galaxy sell Gyasi Zardes if an offer from Europe arrives? Would he be a good signing for Reading?

Should LA Galaxy consider taking Darren Bent to MLS?

Aston Villa forward Darren Bent has a wealth of talent in front of goal and will always find the net, but with a lack of playing time in the Premier League could he be tempted by a move to Major League Soccer?

He has found himself a little out of favour with the Midlands side and is currently spending time with Championship side Brighton & Hove Albion on a short-term loan spell.

It could be the right time for Bent to take on a new challenge and MLS could be a great destination for him.

As we know LA Galaxy are still on the hunt for a replacement for Landon Donovan and it could be a great move for both sides if the Galaxy took a gamble on the 30-year-old.

Galaxy star Robbie Keane has played with Bent at both Tottenham and Aston Villa and so the pair could form a solid partnership in MLS if the Englishman were targeted.

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Bent is at a good age for a move stateside and can take many positives from other former Premier League strikers who are now thriving in Major League Soccer.

The likes of Keane and Jermain Defoe have set the league alight and are idolised by their club’s supporters as a result. For any striker this is a perfect scenario, as it boosts confidence to the maximum.

Bent has scored wherever he has played and he netted for current side Brighton just three days after joining on loan.

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MLS would offer him a great opportunity to enjoy his football and find consistent playing time, where he would probably play 90 minutes every game.

He has an impressive strike rate of almost one in two and with an outlet like him, LA Galaxy would find themselves in an even stronger position to challenge on all fronts once again this season.

The experience he can bring to any squad is worthwhile and he could also set a great example to up-and-coming young players.

Would Darren Bent be an MLS success if he were to move stateside?