Transfer Tracker

Philadelphia Union defender Raymon Gaddis retires after nine MLS seasons

Raymon Gaddis - Philadelphia Union - tight shot


Raymon Gaddis, the Philadelphia Union’s record holder in games played (221) and minutes played (18,702), announced his retirement from professional soccer on Thursday.

Gaddis, 31, first began his MLS career as the No. 35 overall selection in the 2012 SuperDraft, two years after Philadelphia entered the league as an expansion club. An outside back who could play on the right or left, the West Virginia product recorded 10 assists across nine seasons with the Union.

“I first and foremost want to thank God for allowing me to have the career I’ve had," Gaddis said in a release. "I’m truly blessed to have played professionally for nine seasons and for the experiences, friendships and unique moments that have come with it. 

“Over the course of my career, fans have become family, coaches have become life-long mentors, and my teammates have become brothers. I’d like to thank the Philadelphia Union owners, past and present coaches and teammates, and the Union staff. I also want to give a special thank you to my family, to my lovely wife Violet and to my parents Ricky and Katrina Gaddis, whom without this journey simply would not have been possible. I will miss this organization and my team very much, but I am able to retire knowing I left everything on the pitch and proud of what we have accomplished together. I very much look forward to what the future holds, and, in my heart, I will be forever Philly.”

A key part of Black Players for Change, the 2020 MLS WORKS Humanitarian of the Year, Gaddis was an outspoken advocate for social justice, particularly throughout his final professional season. A model of consistency, Gaddis started all 34 regular-season games in 2014 and 2019.

“I’ve had the pleasure of coaching Ray since he was drafted in 2012,” head coach Jim Curtin said in a release. “Ray is an incredibly special player and has been an important part of our locker room. He exemplifies what a role model should be on and off the field. He has been with this team through every up and down, his belief in this team and organization never wavering. He gave everything he had every time he stepped on the field and his passion and dedication will be missed. It has been an honor to have been able to coach him his entire professional career and know he will be successful in his future endeavors.”

As Gaddis retires, Philadelphia now have two holes to address on their backline that helped win the 2020 Supporters’ Shield. They previously transferred homegrown center back Mark McKenzie to KRC Genk in Belgium, and have already signed Scottish center back Stuart Findlay to help fill that void.

At outside back, Philadelphia also have Kai Wagner and Matt Real on the left side. The right side could be filled by Olivier Mbaizo and Nathan Harriel, with Real and Harriel both homegrowns.