Ethan White had been patiently waiting for his chance to play.
White, a defender who was acquired from D.C. United in exchange for Jeff Parke on Jan. 14, was inserted into the Philadelphia Union’s starting lineup against the Colorado Rapids. He played 90 minutes and certainly proved his mettle to the Union’s technical staff in a 3-3 draw at PPL Park. He followed that up with two more 90 minute performances and he was instrumental in the club's 3-1 win over the New York Red Bulls in a Wednesday night primetime matchup and followed that up three days later going the distance in the Union's 1-1 draw against Chicago.
"It’s our job,” White said. “It’s our job to stay focused and do what we can and control what we can. You do what you can to make it hard on the coach. I think I was professional about it and I think they were too. I was patient and it was hard, but you’ve got to keep working.”
When White was told about starting, the adrenaline began to flow.
“Absolutely, he said. “It’s nervous energy; coming in and ready to seize that moment.”
White seized the moment with D.C. United last season, logging 1,099 minutes in 14 matches, which included 13 starts. He was also part of the D.C. United side who captured the 2013 U.S. Open Cup.
It’s been a different situation with the Union.
But White has remained even-keeled, just waiting for a chance.
“It’s our job to stay focused and do what we can to stay focused and remain focused,” White said. “You try to make it hard on the coach. They’ve been very professional about it and I have, too. I was patient. I’ve got to keep working. It’s our job.”
No matter what transpires, he’ll be prepared.
“Of course,” White said. “I’m all for the team. I’m all for the Philadelphia Union. I want to do what’s best for the team. If it’s me starting, coming off the bench as a reserve, I want to do what’s best for the team.”
White was pleased with his performances, though he admitted there’s improvement that can be made in every facet. Getting these first few starts however has certainly been a boost for his confidence.
“Sure, it’s great to see your name in the starting XI,” White said. “I hope it continues, but like I said, I’m all for the team and I’m just going to continue to work hard every single day and see what happens.”
What do you think of White's recent run of form? Leave a comment below.
Contact Union writer Andy Jasner at firstname.lastname@example.org