Philadelphia Union defender Ray Gaddis has never been shy about what has meant most to him. The veteran has always been proud of his faith and has constantly put it on display both on and off the pitch.
For Gaddis, his dream of becoming a professional soccer played started at a young age. Gaddis recalled a story from when he was younger that showed his desire to become a soccer player, and how his faith helped with that dream.
“When I was a little kid, I told my parents and my Dad has a recording of me saying I’m going to be a professional soccer player. My faith has played a big role in that.” Gaddis said.
The faith Gaddis has is a trait that is exemplified on the pitch for Philadelphia. The defender has spent his entire career in a Union kit and ranks third all-time in club history with 145 MLS regular-season appearances. Gaddis never seems to have moments rattle him, no matter the opponent and his faith is a big reason for that.
“It’s always impacted my game to stay grounded. You can never get too high or get too low on yourself; you have to stay even-keeled,” Gaddis said. “It’s also helped with the experience of living out my dream.”
Before every match, you’ll find Gaddis reading scripture, particularly at Talen Energy Stadium. He's the first to arrive to the stadium and before he puts on his coveted number 28 jersey, the seven-year pro sits at his locker and bows his head. For Gaddis, he points to his favorite verse that provides guidance for him.
“My favorite verse is Romans 8:31, it says If God is for us, who shall be against us? I relate that in a sense of no matter the obstacle, opposition or road block that you have in life, you know that God is for you,” Gaddis said. “It’s just a matter of time before you complete the divine purpose that God has for your life.”
The veteran leadership shows week in and week out for Gaddis. As he helps guide a young team throughout a 34 part odyssey that is a MLS season, Gaddis’ faith continues to guide him not just on the pitch as a footballer, but off the pitch as a man.