Raymon Gaddis doesn’t score goals and rarely gets on the score sheet, but his consistency, work ethic and contributions both on and off the field have cemented his status as a Philadelphia Union club legend.
On Saturday night, the job the Indianapolis native does so often with little fanfare — in part because of his own deflection of the spotlight — was properly recognized when he became the club’s all-time leader in minutes played, passing Brian Carroll in the 85th minute of the Union’s 1-0 win over New England Revolution.
“It is an incredible achievement,” head coach Jim Curtin said in the post-game press conference. “When you think of the Philadelphia Union you think of the [Sebastien] Le Touxs, you think of Brian Carroll, and you think of Ray [Gaddis]. The guys that have been here in order to achieve that and to put the minutes in that he has for the club. As a starter, off the bench, right back, left back, he never says a word. He brings everything every day to training and he is such a mentor for our young players. He loves the city of Philadelphia and he really loves the club, and he is in the community everywhere.”
Gaddis was presented with a commemorative jersey after the match and spoke to reporters in the locker room and to Dave Leno and former teammate Matt Kassel in the post-game broadcast. Naturally, he deflected the attention away from his achievement and instead talked about his faith in God and the effort from his teammates in securing another critical three points in the playoff chase.
“I want to talk about Andre Blake keeping the clean sheet and Cory Burke scoring the goal and playing to the whistle,” Gaddis told reporters. “That’s fundamental when you’re younger; you play to the whistle and that’s what he did. Everyone is buying in to the collective effort of the team, no one player is above the group. It’s tremendous to get the honor from the Lord for most minutes but to get a win on top of that’s just beautiful for me. I’ll sleep good tonight.”
His total minutes — in MLS play — now total 13,869 spanning seven seasons since being selected 35th overall in the 2012 MLS SuperDraft out of the University of West Virginia.
“I’ve spent my whole adult life here,” Gaddis said of Philadelphia. “You could say this is my second home, or third home behind Morgantown, West Virginia. It’s been a blessing coming here because it’s very much like Indianapolis. It’s a blue collar city with the people, the fans and how passionate about sports and what a great environment it is to be in. I’ve met people who are friends that have become family here. I’m tremendously blessed from the Lord for the great people who have surrounded me. This is a great place to be.”
Gaddis is one of three players on the Union who was part of both previous losses in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup final (Richie Marquez and Fabinho are the others). But he’s not yet thinking about the 2018 final in Houston.
“We’re not worried about that game right now, we’re worried about our opponent DC because they’re in a good run right now especially since Wayne Rooney has come into the side and they moved into their new stadium, which has energized them,” Gaddis said.
Wednesday’s game in D.C. kicks off at 8 P.M. and will be broadcast on PHL17.