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Portland Timbers star Ridgewell harnessing Birmingham cup conquerers

Liam Ridgewell is chomping at the bit ahead of the MLS Conference Finals.

The English defender and his Portland Timbers are preparing for the first leg of the Western Conference Championship which takes place at home against FC Dallas on Sunday.

Ridgewell likens Portland's run to the playoffs as similar to the Birmingham City team he played with in 2011 that surprisingly defeated Arsenal in the League Cup final at Wembley and cannot wait to take that motivation into the Providence Park meeting with the Black-and-Red.

"It was incredible," Ridgewell said on the Talk Timbers radio show.

"The early few rounds you don't really expect to go all the way because you're a smaller club and people are talking about the big clubs still being in it. But the more you get closer, like we are now, the more you get closer the more you feel for it, and the more you think, 'You know what we can actually do something, we can actually do something here and actually make history,' as we did at Birmingham and as we could do with the Timbers.

"Every game is like a cup game."

After missing out on the playoffs by a point in Ridgewell's debut season in Portland, the Timbers won four of their last five regular season games to finish third in the West.

So far in the finals, Caleb Porter's side have seen off Sporting Kansas City in a penalty shootout, before getting the better of Cascadia rivals Vancouver Whitecaps 2-0 on aggregate to set up a penultimate clash with Dallas.

Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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