All Whites goalie charged with drink driving in US

Jake Gleeson. Photo / Getty
Jake Gleeson. Photo / Getty

All Whites goalkeeper Jake Gleeson is in strife after a bizarre drink driving incident which also involved his American club captain.

The 26-year-old Gleeson crashed his car then called Portland Timbers captain Liam Ridgewell for help. Both have been arrested on charges including drunk driving. Gleeson is also charged with reckless and dangerous driving.

The Portland Timbers, who won the 2015 Major League Soccer title, issued a statement saying: "The team is aware of the events that occurred last evening involving players Jake Gleeson and Liam Ridgewell and is in the process of gathering information on the matter. The team has been in close contact with the players, local law enforcement and the league office."

The Palmerston North-born Gleeson has played eight times for New Zealand, after representing the country at under 17, 20 and 23 level. Police say a BMW emergency alert system was activated and police found his car with front-end damage and its airbag deployed, apparently after crashing into the rear of another car.

A police spokesman said: "He had also apparently called a friend to come pick him up, and that was Ridgewell."

Both players refused to take breath tests and face charges over that. Police said after field sobriety tests were finished, officers determined both athletes were impaired.

Gleeson faces accusations of DUII, reckless driving and reckless endangerment, the spokesman said. Englishman Ridgewell faces a DUII accusation, he said. Their cases will go to a Lake Oswego municipal court for hearing, scheduled for Nov. 16.

Gleeson joined the Timbers U-23 team in 2010 and signed a contract with the first team ahead of the club's inaugural MLS season in 2011. He took over the starting goalkeeping role this year after an injury to Adam Kwarasey, Oregonlive reported.

A spokesman wouldn't comment on whether this impacts Gleeson's and Ridgewell's status with the team, work visas, or their ability to travel into foreign countries for games moving forward.

Guatemalan Major League Soccer player Marco Pappa was arrested for DUI in 2015, and it didn't appear impact his work visa. He went to the league's substance abuse program, missed for four games while in treatment and then returned to play. Gleeson was called up by then coach Ricki Herbert when the All Whites played China in 2011.

- NZ Herald

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