At 24, defender Sheanon Williams elder statesmen of Union defensive presence
Sheanon Williams didn’t enjoy watching the MLS Cup playoffs on television.
In 2014, he vows to do all he can to make sure he's not doing it come season's end.
“It’s always disappointing when you don’t make the playoffs,” the Union defender said following a recent training session. “I thought we were close and there were probably three games that I could pinpoint where it could have gone either way. In past years, the point totals might have had us in. But you watch the playoffs with a little bit of an edge and a little bit upset you’re not in it and you just think about next season. That’s all I’ve been thinking about, wondering who we’re going to draft. It’s been a long offseason for sure. I think anytime you don’t make the playoffs. you’re hungry. I’ve been here since the end of year one and I’ve gotten to see what the playoffs are like and what it was like here. I definitely want to get back to that.”
Williams was part of the Union when they advanced to the postseason in 2011.
Though the club was upended by the Houston Dynamo in the Eastern Conference semifinals, Williams reveled in the opportunity.
“The atmosphere was great, especially at home,” Williams said. “I think as a player, as a competitor, you ultimately want to end up in the playoffs. That’s why you work so hard all season. All of that hard work starts now in preseason training.”
Watching Williams train at YSC Sports, it was evident how focused he is for this season.
The intensity and passion were at a postseason level.
“I’m from Boston and that’s just how I was raised, seeing eight championships now on my own, the city that I grew up in. That’s how it is,” Williams said. “I try to bring that here. It’s definitely intense out here and we want to get the preseason out on the right foot. It gets you playing hard and the right way and it starts in practice.”
“I think as a player, as a competitor, you ultimately want to end up in the playoffs. That’s why you work so hard all season. All of that hard work starts now in preseason training.” - Sheanon Williams
It also started in the offseason with a plethora of changes.
There are so many new faces in training between the MLS SuperDraft and other key signings.
“It’s great and it shows as a team we’re not happy with where we are,” Williams said. “We want to improve. As a player, that’s good to see. Someone like me, who only wants to win, it’s great. We’re not just content with challenging for a playoff spot. We want to be in the playoffs and win. The coaching staff and organization have done a great job of putting us in position to fight for that. I always try to work as hard as I can especially with our team. With the changes the organization is trying to make, it feels and makes you want to push harder. We have a good group of guys coming back and we added a lot of new guys. We’re definitely excited to get the season going and really excited to get down to Florida.”
Williams is now entering his fifth season with the Union, which is hard to believe.
He came in at the end of 2010 and continued to improve every season. He’s now one of the club leaders.
“I guess that’s kind been the theme the last couple years where we’ve been so young, a couple of the younger guys have had to step up,” Williams said. “It’ll be the same thing again. I’ll be 24 this year. I’m getting older. It’s exciting to be here with the Union and I’m very, very excited about the direction of the club and where we’re headed this season.”
What do you expect from Sheanon Williams this season? Leave a comment below.
Contact Union writer Andy Jasner at email@example.com