Featured / Philadelphians Abroad

Philadelphians abroad

Photo courtesy of the Chicago Fire

Two right backs from the Philadelphia area faced off on Saturday, but only one came out a winner.

Chicago right back Dan Gargan started and went the full 90 for Chicago in the club’s 1-0 over Philadelphia, being a key part of the Chicago attack that consistently came down the right flank. Opposite him, fellow Philly product Chris Albright started for the Union on the other side of the field at right back and went 80 minutes in the Union’s three-man back line.

Dan Gargan against the Union for Toronto FC in 2010.

Gargan, 29, has had a remarkable career turnaround over the last five years. The former all-state player at Chestnut Hill Academy in Philadelphia tore his in August 2007, in just his third year in the league. By that time, Gargan had secured a regular role on the field, usually as a starting right back but sometimes as a substitute.

The injury looked like it had ended his career. He missed the rest of the season, and his club, Colorado, released him the following April. He latched on with Chivas USA within weeks but then abruptly retired in May 2008. That last game in which he was hurt looked to have been his last.

But Gargan gave it another go in 2009 when he signed with the USL’s Puerto Rico Islanders. A year later, he was back in MLS with Toronto, where he became a regular starter before being traded to Chicago, for whom he’s been a key part of the team’s turnaround on the field. Off the field, he made news by directing a fantastic video showing players behind the scenes for the Chicago Fire. If you missed it on PSP this weekend, you can watch it here.

Here’s a roundup of how other Philadelphians playing professionally around the world fared over the last week.

Major League Soccer

Dan Gargan, D, Chicago — Started and played 90 minutes in Chicago’s 1-0 win over Philadelphia. Season: 2 games, 2 starts

Chris Albright, D, Philadelphia — Started and played 80 minutes in Philadelphia’s 1-0 loss to Chicago. Season: 2 games, 2 starts

Bobby Convey, M, Kansas City — Started and played 89 minutes in Kansas City’s 2-1 win over Dallas. Season: 2 games, 2 starts

Jeff Parke, D, Seattle —  Season: 0 regular season games

Jeff Larentowicz, M, Colorado — Suspended due to a red card a week earlier against Philadelphia. Season: 2 games, 2 starts

Cristhian Hernandez, M, Philadelphia — Was in the 18 but did not play against Chicago. Season: 1 game

Bill Gaudette, GK, Los Angeles — Did not play. Season: 0 games

Corey Hertzog, F, New York —Did not play.  Season: 0 games

Antoine Hoppenot, M/F, Philadelphia — Did not play. Season: 0 games

Jimmy McLaughlin, M, Philadelphia — Did not play. Season: 0 games

Zach Pfeffer, M, Philadelphia — Is training with the US Men’s National Team U-18s in Carson, Cal. Season: 0 games

Zarek Valentin, D, Montreal — On international duty. Started and played 90 minutes in the USMNT U-23s’ 2-0 loss to Canada last week. In the 18 but did not play in the USMNT’s 3-3 draw against El Salvador on Monday. Season: 0 games

Jeremy Vuolo, GK, New York — Was in the 18 against Colorado but did not play. Season: 0 games

Andrew Wenger, M, Montreal — Did not play in Montreal’s 2-0 loss to Columbus. Season: 2 games

Jeremiah White, M, New England —In the 18 but did not play in New England’s 1-0 win over Portland. Season: 1 game

Austrian Bundesliga

Eddie Gustafsson, GK, Red Bull Salzburg — Did not play in Red Bull Salzburg’s two games last week but was in the 18 each time. Season: 15 games. (More complete stats are not available via the Bundesliga and Red Bull web sites.)


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