2014 Season Summary
In the first part of the 2014 season, we couldn't figure out why Ethan White was behind Aaron Wheeler on John Hackworth's center back depth chart. In the second half of the season, we couldn't figure out what took so long to get White onto the pitch. With White on the field, the Philadelphia Union won five, tied five, and lost only two.
What Did He Do Right?
White proved to be a good presence at center back, effectively stopping the merry-go-round at that position that included Austin Berry, Sheanon Williams, and Aaron Wheeler. According to whoscored.com, White posted a respectable 6.77 rating and was third on the team with 4.1 clearances per game.
What Did He Do Wrong?
Whatever he did to get into John Hackworth's doghouse. The Union got 20 points in the twelve matches he played in. White could also work on his skill in the air - for a six-foot-tall center back he should be winning more than 1.5 aerial duels per match (good for only tenth on the team).
Most Memorable Moment
Getting the start on July 12 against the Colorado Rapids. While White didn't have his best game, he did get the start and was able to hold on to the starting center back position even after the return of Carlos Valdes.
White will most likely challenge for a starting center back job alongside Carlos Valdes and possibly Maurice Edu (depending on where Jim Curtin sees Edu playing in 2015). Any time you challenge two guys who played for their national teams, you're doing something right. While White may be a bench option and spot-starter next year, at least we know he can come in and hold his own.