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Philadelphia Union re-sign veteran defender Raymon Gaddis

Gaddis will return for his eighth season in blue and gold

MLS: U.S. Open Cup-Houston Dynamo vs Philadelphia Union Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Raymon Gaddis, the Philadelphia Union’s all-time leader in minutes played, will officially be back for an eighth season in Chester, the team announced on Wednesday.

“We are looking forward to welcoming Ray back to the Union,” Union Sporting Director Ernst Tanner said in a statement. “He is a tireless worker with an incredible heart and attitude to match. A crucial part of our locker room, he provides an excellent veteran presence on and off the field. He also serves as a role model for our younger players, particularly our young fullbacks.”

The 28-year-old from Indianapolis had his previous contract expire at the end of last season. He was making $182,500, according to figures released by the players union in October, which was the 10th highest salary on the team.

Terms of his new deal were not disclosed in the press release announcing his return.

Selected 35th overall in the 2012 MLS SuperDraft out of West Virginia University, Gaddis became the all-time Union leader in minutes played (14,468) after a season that saw him make 28 appearances and 25 starts, mostly as a left back.

His signing gives the Union two right backs (Gaddis and Olivier Mbaizo), two left backs (Matthew Real and Fabinho) and three center backs (Auston Trusty, Mark McKenzie and Jack Elliott) and brings the total first team roster number to 22. The team can fill as many as 31 spots on the first team roster if the 31st player is sent on season-long loan to Bethlehem Steel FC.