Another round of 2016 player reviews and another round of Bethlehem focused players. I’ll start with Anderson and calm myself down by finishing with Ray.
What went right: Serious answers Evan, you got this. Anderson came over from Tombense (who by the way has loaned him out every year since 2011) and was supposed to be a Steven Vitoria type, but, better at soccer. Instead we just got Steven Vitoria. He played in one game for the Union before he fell to Bethlehem Steel FC for 13 appearances. Anderson at his best was a capable tackler and an aerial threat but really those moments were few and far between.
What went wrong: Well, he got outplayed by countless centerbacks on the Bethlehem roster. Mickey Daly, Nick Bibbs and most notably 17 year old Auston Trusty all saw time at CB with Trusty even jumping to the first team, killing any chance that Anderson had at a return to the first team. He looked slow, lethargic and definitely didn’t care towards the latter half of the BSFC season. More than anything else he just kind of took up spots that I’m sure Steel FC could have used on a variety of other players either in the academy or on the fringes of the Union squad, like Ken Tribbett. He got burned by plenty of guys at the USL level, which isn’t a knock on the USL guys as much as it is an indictment on how bad Anderson was last year.
What went right: Ray was given the captain’s band for the Union for the first time when we faced Harrisburg City Islanders in the Open Cup in a 3-2 win this year. Besides that, he didn’t see a ton of the field. Five starts and two substitutions for seven appearances isn’t really a lot of playing time, and really he’s unfortunate that he was stuck on the depth chart behind that Keegan Rosenberry fellow. Ray seems like a good candidate for the expansion draft, or even a move to left back to platoon the position with Fabinho wouldn’t be a horrible idea.
What went wrong: I wouldn’t say anything went wrong really. Rosenberry won the starting gig, Ray was stuck behind a rookie of the year and didn’t show a ton of progress when he played. The Union went 2-2-3 when Gaddis played which is a pretty respectable if not outstanding record. What sticks out is the amount of times he was substituted off. Four out of seven times this year coach Jim Curtin pulled Gaddis out of the game. Defensively if you are being subbed out that often, something isn’t clicking. We’ll have to wait and see what this offseason and next year hold for Ray, but until then he’s probably trying to put 2016 behind him.