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Gleeson clear to play for Portland Timbers

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 28/02/2017

New Zealand goalkeeper Jake Gleeson will be eligible to play for the Portland Timbers in their season-opening opening Major League Soccer game after charges against him following a road accident were dropped.

Gleeson and Timbers captain Liam Ridgewell were both arrested on suspicion of drink-driving following a collision in Portland last October, prompting an MLS investigation.

Capped eight times for the All Whites, Gleeson plead no contest to charges of reckless driving and reckless endangerment in November and was allowed to enter an alcohol diversion programme.

The charges against Ridgewell were later dropped after a judge ruled police didn't have probable cause to detain him.

MLS decided to suspend neither player and announced this week they were clear to play against Minnesota United on Friday.

It said Gleeson, 26, had been told to continue to take part in the league's substance abuse and behavioural health programme.

The former Team Wellington stopper will also take a lead role in a new city-wide initiative promoting road safety.

Gleeson, who has played for the Timbers since 2010, toured North America with the All Whites last October, just before the incident. He didn't play against either Mexico or the United States.

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