Philadelphia Union legend Ray Gaddis is coming back to MLS, reuniting with former teammate Chris Albright and coach Pat Noonan at FC Cincinnati.
Cincinnati announced the signing of Gaddis to a two-year contract with an option for a third year on Wednesday.
“When Ray stepped away from the game a year ago, he was arguably playing at the highest level of his career,” FC Cincinnati General Manager Chris Albright stated. “He’s a lockdown defender and with the ability to play both outside back positions. His character and leadership are second-to-none, and he will be an excellent addition to the group.”
Albright played for the Union during Ray’s first two seasons in 2012 and 2013. He went on to join the Union’s front office and was hired as the Cincinnati general manager in October.
Since Albright’s arrival, Union assistant Pat Noonan has been hired as head coach and free agent defender Alvas Powell was signed to a one-year deal with a club option.
Gaddis, who turns 32 next week, is the Union’s all-time leader in minutes played and appearances with 251 appearances and 21,505 minutes in all competitions. He was drafted out of West Virginia University with the 35th overall pick in 2012.
He announced his retirement last March in a move that in hindsight may be less surprising than his decision to come back out of retirement is now.
Gaddis has told me of his role: "It was plain, it was clear from Chris and Pat. We want to help stabilize the the defense. We want to help and try to cultivate TQL Stadium be a fortress for for FC Cincinnati... I'm here to try to help shape up the defense."— Pat Brennan (@PBrennanENQ) January 5, 2022