CHESTER, PA - JUNE 22: Sheanon Williams #25 of the Philadelphia Union heads the ball during the game against Sporting Kansas City at PPL Park on June 22, 2011 in Chester, Pennsylvania. The game ended 0-0. (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)
The Philadelphia Union will be without the services of Sheanon Williams for two weeks, as the starting right back has flown to Nashville to join the under-23 United States Men's National Team (USMNT). A source informed the Brotherly Game that Caleb Porter, the under-23 USMNT head coach, called up Williams to replace Josua Gatt on the youth national team's roster.
Gatt was recalled by Molde, his club team in Norway, two days ago because of a shortened roster due to injuries. The midfielder and defender's departure left the under-23 USMNT with only five defensive options, making the addition of Williams a lateral move in terms of player versatility. While Williams has played as a right back in all but one of his games as a member of the Union, on Sunday he started in a right midfield role against the Colorado Rapids.
Per US Soccer, clubs are not obligated by FIFA to provide players for the Olympic Qualifying cycle, but the Union have previously allowed both Freddy Adu and Amobi Okugo to be on the under-23 USMNT roster, including in this camp. The under-23 USMNT plays its first game on March 22 in Nashville and possibly end their qualifying run as late as March 31, the CONCACAF semi-final, or April 2, the final.
The Union will be left with Chris Albright and Raymon Gaddis as options at right back for upcoming MLS games. Albright started at the position against the Rapids, playing solidly, but making one mistake that lead to the eventual game winning goal for Colorado. Gaddis has yet to make a game day roster for the Union since being selected in the 2012 MLS SuperDraft.