Williams Settles Right Back Dilemna
CHESTER, Pa. – The Philadelphia Union’s right back spot has been a bit of a musical chairs game.
First it was Dave Myrie. Then came Michael Orozco Fiscal’s time. Cristian Arrieta was then brought in, only to be replaced by Orozco Fiscal again for a few matches. But it now appears Philadelphia have found the right man, thanks to recent performances from Sheanon Williams.
Joining Peter Nowak’s side from the then USL-2 (now USL PRO) Harrisburg City Islanders back in August, Williams has impressed his coach and teammates along the way to holding down a spot in the lineup that had been somewhat of a headache for the Union.
Since his move to MLS, Williams has been thrust into the thick of things for his team, and Thursday night’s match against the Los Angeles Galaxy was no different.
In perhaps his best showing of the season, Williams helped his team control the likes of Landon Donovan, Edson Buddle and David Beckham in a 1-0 loss to LA. For Williams, it’s a match he’ll always remember.
“It was a really good experience,” said Williams after Thursday’s game. “Those are some of the top players – with Landon and [Buddle] in our country, and David Beckham in the world. To get a chance to measure myself against those guys, it was good."
Williams was charged with marking Donovan for much of the match, particularly in the second half. The three-time MLS Best XI forward was limited to a very low number of touches and wasn’t able to stamp his authority on the match the way he normally does, thanks in large part to Williams.
Being able to mark Donovan was a great chance for the 20-year-old to show what he’s made of, but he admitted that it was no easy task.
“[I] just tried to limit his touches and take away his space,” said Williams. “When he gets a full head of steam, he’s one of the fastest guys out there so you can’t let him get full speed. I tried to use my pace a little bit and try to do whatever I could to keep him away from our goal.”
But Williams won’t rest on the laurels of his performance against LA. Up next for the maturing defender is another tough test: Thierry Henry, Juan Pablo Ángel, Rafa Márquez and the rest of the Eastern Conference-leading New York Red Bulls, who visit PPL Park on Oct. 16.