Fresh off of winning the Supporters’ Shield with the Philadelphia Union, right back Ray Gaddis will now be honored with the Jerry Yeagley Award for Exceptional Personal Achievement, named after the former West Chester University player and historic Indiana University men’s soccer coach.
The award will be handed out by United Soccer Coaches. According to a news release, the award is presented annually to “a former collegiate soccer student-athlete who has demonstrated extraordinary accomplishments and service beyond the sport itself.”
If there is anyone who has truly exemplified this, it is the former West Virginia University defender.
“How fitting for an Indiana favorite son to receive the Jerry Yeagley Award for Exceptional Personal Achievement,” Kevin Sims, the President of United Soccer Coaches, said in the news release. “Ray has excelled on the field for the 2020 MLS Supporters’ Shield Philadelphia Union as a longstanding defensive stalwart, holding club records for most matches started and most minutes played. More impressively, Ray has leveraged his success and platform to benefit the Philadelphia area and the nation through meaningful philanthropy, community service, and social activism. United Soccer Coaches proudly salutes Ray Gaddis.”
As reliable as the longest tenured Union player has been on the pitch, it is his work off the pitch, from Philadelphia to his hometown of Indianapolis, that has truly stood out. Some of his accomplishments include being a founding member and executive board member of MLS’ Black Players for Change (BPC), bringing a mini-pitch to Newark, partnering with Chipotle and Honeygrow to provide meals for the homeless in Philadelphia, and many more.
Gaddis, 30, has been able to do it all and then some during his professional career. Now, all that is left is for him to score a goal for the blue and gold.