Ray Gaddis lends some perspective into his day-to-day routine as a Philadelphia Union defender

A unique look into the life of a Union player...off the pitch

Gaddis vs. Portland

Photo Credit: 
Greg Carroccio

From an outside perspective, professional athletes are arguably viewed as figures that enjoy the spotlight and live inside the exclusive circle of their profession. However, upon getting to know most of these athletes, it is apparent that they have many simple pleasures just like everyone else. Philadelphia Union defender Raymon Gaddis sees the spotlight on a weekly basis throughout the season, but still takes the time to enjoy the smaller things in life.

What is your favorite car? Everybody has an answer to this question. For some people their fascination is with speed and design, while for others it may be with safety and reliability. Gaddis’ interest, however, comes from his childhood.

“Growing up I always liked Cadillacs,” he said. “My grandfather had one, my father had one, I had one; so I would have to say Cadillac is my favorite.”

As a professional soccer player, it is common knowledge Ray Gaddis is highly skilled when it comes to soccer, but what he does off the pitch may surprise you.

While the question of what Ray Gaddis and Chef Gordon Ramsay have in common has probably never entered your mind, the pair do have one clear thing in common and that is a passion for cooking. While Gaddis may not hold 14 stars in the Michelin Guide Book, he can still manage his own kitchen pretty well.

“Right now I am taking cooking classes as something to do off the field,” Gaddis said. “I really love food and I really like to cook so I am trying to learn how to be a better cook right now.”

Most people who enjoy food and cooking also have an interest in travel and that holds true in the case of Gaddis.

  • Follow Ray Gaddis on Twitter and Instagram: @RayGaddis

With a global market, being a soccer player has become synonymous with travel. Having the opportunity to experience so many different climates and cultures through their profession, it is safe to say these athletes have a favorite destination. It would be easy to think this destination was visited while on the job, but for many players, including Gaddis, the best spot is the most relaxing.

“I would say Bermuda is my favorite spot,” Gaddis said. “It is tropical, is has the nice white sand, it is just very peaceful.”

While vacations are enjoyable, they can come few and far between for a player in Major League Soccer. Sometimes a mental vacation can be a much needed escape and what better way to do that than to pick up a video game controller and play a little FIFA.

Training and scrimmaging may be one way to test the skill of teammates, but to Gaddis, off the pitch FIFA is the real test. And while he admits to not being an avid “gamer," Gaddis is very confident about his FIFA skills and has no problem defeating his fellow Union teammates.

“I think I can beat anyone in FIFA to be honest,” he said. “ I played for a charity event maybe a month ago and I won every game so my FIFA skills are decent.”

While there are many things that bring Gaddis joy, he still has a special place in his heart for the moments that brought his career to where it is today. Every player has that one moment in their career that stands out and for Gaddis it was his selection in the 2012 MLS Super Draft by the Union.

“I was happy that my family got to see me get drafted more than anything,” he said. “I learned that hard work really pays off and was humbly excited.”

As Gaddis continues his career these answers may change, but he will always cherish the little things that made him who he is today.

Contact Union writer Howard Hutchinson at hhutchinson@philadelphiaunion.com