Philadelphia Union Defender Ray Gaddis Announces Retirement -

I want to thank God first and foremost to have had the career that I have had. I thank the Lord for the many blessings, friendships, experiences, that have been allotted to me in my playing career for the Philadelphia Union.

I’ve been fortunate to play with and against some of the best players in the game. I’ve seen the world through this sport and lived out my dream of playing professionally. I’ve been apart of the incredible growth MLS has made over 25 years and I can’t wait to see what the future will bring. I am proud to have worn only one jersey in my career an represent the Philadelphia Union Organization to the best of my ability hoping to have left my mark, while leaving everlasting impressions.

I want to thank the fans who embraced me from the very beginning as the Philadelphia Union selected a young man out of West Virginia University with the 35th pick in the 2012 MLS SuperDraft. With that being said I want to thank the same fans whom many have become family in my eyes. I want to thank the fans who never wavered through the highs and lows. I am glad that I was able to help bring a trophy the first trophy to a club so deserving, simply without you the fans there would be no Philadelphia Union simply. I want you to know that every time I stepped on the field I gave my everything and I left it all on the line. I gave you the best of me never taking for granted the blessing & privilege it was to suit up and represent the Gold and Blue. I just want to say thank you to my friends and supporters for your support throughout my career.

To my past and present teammates, coaches, and staff thank you for helping push me to become a better version of myself. I want to thank the owners of Philadelphia Union for their belief in me for nearly a decade. In my playing career I have been blessed to create and cultivate many lifelong friendships that I will cherish forever. We have shared some incredible memories both on and off the field. I will miss the banter of the locker room, the pregame speeches, the derby games, vibrant personalities and the life lessons learned from each and every one of you. I want to thank Mark Evans, Josh Gros, Rob Smith Steve, Hudyma, Chris Albright, the Cox Family, and Paul Rushing who been with every step of the way seeing the team go to new heights over the duration of my career. To Coach Curtin who has played a vital role in developing me as player and helping me mature as man, a true players coach thanks for believing in to be the best version of myself and a leader on and off the field for the Philadelphia Union.

I want to say that I am proud of my contribution to this chapter of Major League Soccer.

To be a professional athlete is a privilege, but I didn’t get here alone. I want say, I’m grateful for my family who have been my biggest supporters. Who have inspired me, who have motivated me, who have invested any and everything for me to have succeed not on only throughout my career but for life off the field. I want to thank my wife Violet for her support, love and encouragement in my professional soccer career. To Ricky and Katrina Gaddis my beloved parents I want you to know everything I ever done or accomplished is not possible without you, thank you for the countless sacrifices, for the instruction and guidance and most importantly the love poured out into your son. I want to say thank you Lord lastly for protecting me, guiding me, loving me, showing me unmerited favor and using me as your vessel for the kingdom of God that you may get the glory for the platform given to me by you. In closing

I am excited for the future challenges that await I know there is plenty to look forward to in this next chapter of life.

This Ray Gaddis number 28 in your programs and number 1 in hearts signing off for the Philadelphia Union!!!