By Matt Leon
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — To say it was an eventful offseason for the Philadelphia Union, would probably be putting it mildly.
Of course, the biggest headlines were grabbed by departures, as the team said goodbye to popular veterans Sebastien Le Toux and Faryd Mondragon.
But the Union also added some new faces and one of them is very familiar with the Philadelphia scene. Veteran defender Chris Albright is a Philadelphia native and a graduate of Penn Charter High School.
Albright’s MLS resume is impressive as he has been in the league since 1999 and he spent last season with the New York Red Bulls. He talked about deciding to sign with the Union.
“It was an easy decision,” said Albright. “Philadelphia, obviously, is a big part of who I am and a big part of who I am as a soccer player and as a person. With a great organization like the Union thriving in a market that I always knew would do great, it made perfect sense for me.”
Albright has played 225 Major League Soccer games and that compliments an extensive career representing the U.S. internationally. He thinks his experience will be a key asset for him in Philadelphia.
“We have a young team and we have a team that’s building for the future that’s going to obviously be competitive now and look to win a championship this year and going forward,” he said. “But we’re also building for the future. We’re young and I think my experience, along with the other experienced guys on the team, can help groom those guys and improve the entire product, the entire team.”
Listen to Matt Leon’s entire interview with Chris Albright:
Albright has won three MLS titles – two in Los Angeles and one in D.C. He is a three-time MLS All-Star who has also enjoyed that extraordinary success playing for the U.S. National Team and U.S. Olympic Team. With all this experience, what stands out most to him in his career to this point.
“My experiences with the national team and my experience with the Olympic team sort of sticks out, first and foremost. To be able to represent your country in the Olympics was something really special for me,” he added. “It’s something that when you’re involved it, you play so many games over the course of a career, you’re on a bus you’re going to another big game, it just seems like another soccer tournament. But when you are able to step away, and look back at it, and see that you were able to represent your country. And we had a great run in the 2000 Olympics, that’s definitely one of the memories that stands out.”
The Philadelphia Union open the 2012 season on March 12th at Portland.