Harvey's Consistency Key for Union Defense
When it comes to being dependable, reliable and trustworthy, look no further than Jordan Harvey.
Philadelphia Union left back has been incredibly steady in the club's expansion season. Through the midway point – 15 games – he has logged the second-most minutes on the club, just 28 behind goalkeeper Chris Seitz.
Harvey scored one goal against Toronto, though that’s not why he’s on the field. He has been difficult to beat along the flank and strong in possession, keeping this young club calm during critical stages of games.
WATCH: Harvey equalizes in Toronto
“Jordan is very skilled out there on the field,” said defender Michael Orozco Fiscal. “He knows how to play and he knows the strategic part of the game so well. He has been great for us every game.”
The 26-year-old Harvey was a perfect fit for a first-year club with his experience and knowledge of the game. He joined the Union from the Colorado Rapids when he had three assists and started in 29 of 30 matches last season.
More than that, he has experience as a member of the U.S. U-20 National Team, not to mention stints with the U-14, U-16 and U-17 squads. He led the U-17s with 52 starts in 2000 and 37 starts in ’01.
Harvey played four seasons at UCLA and started all 20 games in each of the last two seasons. He was also a member of the ’02 NCAA championship team and was part of the first class in school history to win four conference titles.
Now at 26, he plays well beyond his years.
“I didn’t come in and try to do too much,” said Harvey, who was the Gatorade National Player of the Year as a senior at Capistrano Valley High School, becoming the first California player ever to receive the award for boys soccer. “I always try to stay within my game and within the team concept here. I feel like every game we’re becoming more and more cohesive as a group.”
Harvey has had a blast in his first season with the Union and he believes the club is clearly moving in the right direction. While the Union's defense struggled through the early stages of their inaugural campaign, the club has only given up more than a single goal once in their last nine matches in all competitions.
Results haven't always gone in Philadelphia's favor recently despite the much-improved performance of the backline, but it's obvious the defender is appreciative of the passionate support the Union receive at PPL Park nonetheless.
“The fans here are unbelievable,” Harvey said. “They’re out here supporting us every game. They give us an amazing homefield advantage. You’re going to have ups and downs in a season, and to know they’re behind us is special to all of us in the locker room.”
Having a locker room filled with players like Harvey is vital for the long-term success of a club.
“Jordan comes to work every day and he’s so professional,” said forward Alejandro Moreno. “Guys see that. They see his work ethic. It’s great. That’s what you want.”
The second half of the season officially begins Thursday against the Columbus Crew at home. Look on the field, and you’ll almost certainly see Harvey playing the full 90 minutes.
“I love the sport, and I’ll do anything I can to help the Union,” said Harvey. “We have a lot of goals we want to accomplish in the second half. I’m excited to be a part of the club.”