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Talking tactics with Sheanon Williams

Starting in the back for the Union, Sheanon Williams has been one of the keys to the team’s run to the top half of the Eastern Conference. Although he has been one of the best right backs in MLS, Williams spent the Portland match deputizing for Danny Califf in the middle.

And honestly, even if he hadn’t come out of the gates so strong this season, Sheanon earned a lot of leeway from Union fans when he put down roots in one of the team’s 2010 problem positions.

Williams talked to PSP about the Union’s recent tactics and his role on the team.

What was it like playing center back against Portland?

It took a little while to get used to it but I played there in college so it wasn’t something I was unfamiliar with.

Were you brought in as a center back? How did you end up there at UNC?

We had an injury in the back and I had to step into the middle. I ended up playing there all year. It’s different but you learn to read the game and remember where you’re supposed to be. It takes a little while but you get used to it.

Is it difficult to hold back on making runs when you move to the middle?

Definitely, definitely. You see space and when you’re an outside back you want to take it. But if you’re in the middle and you make a mistake, teams will make the most of it at this level.

With the offense struggling, do you feel pressure to get more involved?

No, definitely not. We are going to be OK. We just need to make the most of our opportunities. We had three early opportunities in Dallas. If we can finish those we are fine. So I’m not feeling pressure to do anything else.

Have you been happy with your crossing this year?

It’s something that Jordan and I and the outside backs work on in practice. I think it’s been alright this year.

What about shooting? Are you comfortable cutting onto your left for a shot?

That’s something I’ve been working on. I haven’t really had many chances to shoot yet but if it’s there… I’m not afraid to shoot with my left foot.

Does the team moving between a 4-4-2 and a 4-3-3 change how you play your position?

No. In both I am just looking for spaces to get forward and get involved. If they open up, I take them.

Against Dallas it looked like the team was playing without a right midfielder. Roger was in the middle in front of Brian and Amobi. What was the plan for covering their left middie (Brek Shea)?

We didn’t go out any different against Dallas. We weren’t playing without a right mid. In the run of play we got mixed up and never really got back to the plan. But we were not planning on marking them any differently than we usually do.

Do you think this team is in a good position to make a run, or are there changes needed to get to the next level?

Everyone is making a big deal out of the last two games (LA and Dallas). But we are still second in the East.

Thanks, Sheanon. Good luck this weekend.



  1. Ed Farnsworth says:

    Interesting hearing Williams’ take on having to check the desire to make runs when playing center back. I like the sense that the team isn’t dwelling on the recent disappointing results, too. You hear it from everyone on the team: “We’re going to be fine.”

    Am I alone in wondering when Williams is going to be back on the national team’s radar?

  2. Sheanon should definitely be wearing the RED WHITE and BLUE. I say he makes the allstars this year and gets back on the radar.

  3. I heart Sheanon. That guy is awesome. I hope they reward him for his great play and he gets to be a fixture for years to come.

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