It was the news this past week no Philadelphia Union fan expected to hear or read: Ray Gaddis announcing his retirement from the league. The 31-year-old right back announced his retirement on Thursday after nine seasons in MLS, all of them with the Union.
Unfortunately for the fans, Gaddis is ending his career without a single goal. It was back in 2019 when fans really started the trend of “if Ray scores, we riot.” Since then there were a few close calls for the defender. Ultimately he ends his MLS career with not being able to convert any of his 11 shots on goal.
Taking a look at social media since the announcement, you would find nothing but positive posts for the player.
Damn @raygaddis...I’m stunned!! Didn’t think you were done yet but completely respect your decision!! Thanks so much for ALWAYS stopping to chat with us and sign stuff!! Thanks for always keeping it real!! Wish u nothing but the best mate!! #legend— DPellegrino (@dugnrie) March 4, 2021
Ray ducking out before he was inevitably gunna score this year and the whole city was gunna burn down. Respect.— SJ_Destroyer24 Count: 37 (@borton_89) March 4, 2021
But seriously, great guy, great player. Good luck in retirement.
In Honor of @raygaddis Retirement, I am going to post my 28 favorite Ray Gaddis photos over the next 28 days ! Day 1 is Day 1 of his MLS story...Draft Day 2012 @PhilaUnion @HulkUnionSmash @BrotherlyGame @phillysoccerpg #DOOP pic.twitter.com/3NLzddVMhN— Coach Joe (@CoachJ0e) March 5, 2021
The @PhilaUnion should have their shirts tucked in - FOR AT LEAST ONE GAME - for Ray Ray.— Petey K (@peteyk_bass) March 4, 2021
After the announcement, the Union also released a video tribute to Gaddis. The 13-minute video featured messages from both former and current teammates. It also included messages from the technical staff and some other players from the league.
The sudden news now creates a hole in the backline for sporting director Ernst Tanner and team manager Jim Curtin to fill. Heading into camp the U have two right outside backs that will obviously be competing for the starting job, Olivier Mbaizo and homegrown player Nathan Harriel.
Let us know in the comments below about what your initial reaction was, and what you think the Union should do at the right back position. We also have a poll running about the possibility of number 28 being inducted into the ring of honor one day. We would love for your input there is a well.