Ray Gaddis: Union Cult Hero

Since being draft by Philadelphia Union 35th overall in the 2012 MLS SuperDraft, defender Raymon Gaddis has been a staple of the club and according to MLSSoccer.com's Phil West, a cult hero for supporters of the Boys in Blue.

It's easy to see why Gaddis so loved by fans such as Sons of Ben member Julian Brown. While fans are still waiting to riot when he nets his first Union goal, Gaddis has been an anchor for the club. Gaddis is the club's all-time leader in appearances, starts and yes even yellow cards but that comes with the position. “Ray Gaddis doesn’t take days off,” former Union assistant coach BJ Callaghan said in 2019. Gaddis has done it all for the Union whether it is starting every game at right or left back but sometimes the West Virginia product was a spot starter, always in the 18 but rarely in the first eleven.

During an interview in 2019 with PhiladelphiaUnion.com, Callaghan said that if he gave you footage of Gaddis training, you’d never know whether it was from a season in which he was a full-time starter or one when he spent most of his time on the bench.

The fullback is a leader among Union players first and foremost because he represents the club’s internal culture: Hard work, character, belief in yourself and those close to you – this is what Ray Gaddis means to his teammates, and in turn it is what those teammates seek to emulate as their careers develop.

In his eight previous seasons with Philadelphia Union, Gaddis has surpassed 2000 minutes six times and 3000 minutes once and has earned at least one assist in all but one of his professional seasons. Union head coach Jim Curtin praises Gaddis’ isolation defending, and the fullback’s comfort advancing the ball with his feet has improved considerably since he entered the league. Gaddis, in short, has developed both as a player and a person, and he has become a key piece of the Union’s culture.


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