Player of the Week

Player of the Week: Ray Gaddis

Ray Gaddis is one of those guys who flies under the radar.

He doesn’t score goals. He doesn’t speak loud. He’s more inclined to humility and talk of God than anything else. His defining traits on the field are his speed, determination, and how he continues to surprise observers by overachieving and making himself a valued player on the field.

After breaking Philadelphia Union’s record for most minutes played in a career — now 13,869 and counting — Gaddis is PSP’s Player of the Week.

Now in his seventh season with the Union, no current player has spent as much time on the roster. Each time his manager seems to marginalize him, Gaddis classily accepts the decision and then finds a way to break back through into the lineup.

He has done so this season with his usual solid defense but a surprising effectiveness pushing up field while deployed as a left back. Given Gaddis joined the Union as a very right-footed player, it has surprised many this year to see him back out there.

But he is. And he’s been good.

Honorable mention: Andre Blake

Blake saved the New England game for the Union by doing things like this.

7 Comments

  1. el Pachyderm says:

    This makes me happy. I see ray in the store a few times a year and he’s always a genuine and humble man. His smile is wonderful. He seems amazed when someone recognizes him.
    .
    Now about the level of play. Many have bemoaned him and I’ve always felt good about seeing first the things he is exceptional at …which, is defending— in a league where defense and defensive awareness is often an also ran and comically poor.
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    Ray is a flat good footballer. This is not even taking in to account his ability this year to advance into space with the ball and or draw defenders towards him to create space in the midfield which seems to suggest the coach asked for as an area to improve… which as a true pro, the player did.
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    Ray is above reproach. He is quickly becoming one of the most important obvious do whatever it takes lunch pail Union Ring of Honor Ernst Tanner defined cornerstones of a franchise, youth academy and player pipeline.
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    If you have a bad word to say about him… “go shit in your hat”, as an 85 year old school self affirmed ‘dego friend of mine god love it still likes to say.

    • Yep. All this. I remember when they first put Ray out on the left this season and all I could think to myself was “Here we go again”. And then, little by little all season long he’s surprised, improved and essentially make me forget about the LB position week to week (in a good way). Like you said, kudos to him and going out to improve what the coach has asked and delivering.

  2. Yep. All this. I remember when they first put Ray out on the left this season and all I could think to myself was “Here we go again”. And then, little by little all season long he’s surprised, improved and essentially make me forget about the LB position week to week (in a good way). Like you said, kudos to him and going out to improve what the coach has asked and delivering.

  3. Ray’s offensive contributions this season have been fantastic to watch. As a guy who was almost allergic to the midfield line in his career, you can now count on him making the kind of runs you expect to see from Fabinho – but without the (*ahem*) “adventurous” defending that comes with Fabinho.
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    As a man, Ray is one of the best characters in the league, let alone the Union. I was going to say that the Union should absolutely ensure he doesn’t leave the organization when his playing days are done, but I think he belongs working with the league. He is such a positive person that he can do wonders for players throughout the league.
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    He is a player that makes us proud to be Union fans.

  4. I have had the true pleasure of talking with Ray several times over the last several seasons. It would be impossible to meet a more genuinely nice, respectful, humble young man. He is a credit to his family and all those who influenced him as he grew up.
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    What has impressed me as much as anything this year isn’t his inspired forward play (as much as that has been deliriously fun to watch), not his jaws-of-steel, lockdown defense either (that’s just a given).
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    Has anyone else noticed Ray’s fiery alter ego this season? Ray has been getting in people’s ears (almost literally)…a lot. He’s been far more “in your face” teamate defender during disputes with the opposition than peacemaker. This guy is not taking crap from anyone, not even for a second.
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    Used to seeing it from Rosenberry and Medunjanin and a couple others as well, but Ray??? It’s pretty fun to watch. He’s gotta be driving guys bat-nuts-crazy out there.

  5. Player development is not restricted to the Academy and Bethlehem. The first team does it as well, and Ray Gaddis is perhaps the strongest example, although” Ilsinho’s conditioning and defense is up there.
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  6. Really like Ray on and off the pitch. Every season he has improved his game. Sometimes being benched till the kinks get worked out, but he always makes it back to the pitch! Good on ya Ray!!

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