Photo by Jerome Miron/USA Today Sports
By RYAN TOLMICH
Ray Gaddis has earned a big reward for three seasons of strong performances.
The Philadelphia Union announced Wednesday that the club has inked the 24-year-old defender to a new multiyear contract that will keep Gaddis with the team through 2016. As per club and MLS policy, terms of the deal were undisclosed.
Despite not receiving an invite to the 2012 MLS Draft combine, the 2012 second-round pick has emerged as one of the Union’s most important players, having played all but nine minutes this season, which is something technical director Chris Albright is happy to reward.
“I think from the beginning, Ray has carried himself the right way,” said Albright. “Off the field, I think he’s been a great citizen; he’s done a lot of things in the community that everybody in the front office can speak to.
“I think his ability to be able to shut down opposing attacking midfielders or opposing wingers is a specialty,” Albright continued. “That being said, what you would call Ray’s deficiencies a couple of years ago, he’s improved on tremendously. And that speaks to his work rate and the way he approaches being a professional.”
Gaddis, meanwhile, is already looking toward the team’s tasks at hand, including a clash with the New York Red Bulls and the U.S. Open Cup final against the Seattle Sounders.
“I don’t really think too much about it,” Gaddis said. “It’s just a blessing and I think [the coaches] are familiar with what I can do now in my third year. It speaks dividends about the organization and taking care of its players.
“But right now my focus is to win against Red Bulls and then win the Open Cup – get this first trophy for the Philadelphia Union and then make the playoffs.”
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