clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

2015 Union Player Review: Ray Gaddis

The speedy defender saw a significant dip in form from 2014 to 2015.

Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

2015 Summary

Ray Gaddis began the season as Union's preferred option at left back. It saw him dropped for Fabinho, so as to supplement the offense. He got occasional starts at right back due to the complacent form of Sheanon Williams. Williams' trade to Houston saw Ray become the unchallenged starter at right back, with Fabinho getting all of the minute on the left. His play post-Williams-trade saw manager Jim Curtin experiment with Andrew Wenger as an outside back.

What Did He Do Right?

He led the team in minutes played, again, notching 2,399. This is due to his versatility of being able to play outside back on either the left or right. Though he lost his starting left back position to the more offensively-capable Fabinho, he wrested the starting right back gig from incumbent Sheanon Williams. It wasn't long after that Williams was traded so we don't know if Ray would have kept the spot, but it appears that he was preferred by Jim Curtin for his defensive mindset.

What Did He Do Wrong?

This is the area of concern. Ray has never been the best technical defender. He gets beaten by passes or good one-on-one moves, but has always been able to recover with his speed. That recovery happened a lot less this year, and he was getting beaten more. A very bad combination, considering he was their best defender last year. He's never been considered a high-soccer-IQ player, and his lack of developed nuance hurt his progress. It hurt it to the point that I'd say he regressed. Ray was a player in past seasons who could recover for other defenders who got beat. In the second half of the season, it was Ray who was targeted by opponents. It doesn't help that he doesn't contribute much to the offense either, as he is still goalless for his career.

Moment of the Year

He notched his lone assist on the year in the match against San Jose Earthquakes on September 5th. Union were trailing 1-0, when Vincent Nogueira was the central pivot on a switch of play from left to right. He passed to Gaddis, who settled with one touch, then moved forward and deftly floated a cross onto the forehead of Conor Casey. Casey directed the ball from his center position inside of the near post, and brought Union level. Conor would notch another goal to earn Philly 3 points, but the comeback started with a great pass from Ray.