By Matt Leon
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) —The Philadelphia Union are in the midst of a tough week of work. It started on Saturday, Philadelphia playing an outstanding Real Salt Lake squad to a 2-2 draw in Chester. Now they have to turn around and visit the New York Red Bulls on Wednesday, with a home match with Houston looming on Saturday.
As he has in every match this season, defender Raymon Gaddis played all 90 minutes in the draw with RSL. The 24-year-old left back has provided steady play so far in 2014 and he’s confident they are ready for this busy week.
“We have to take it one day at a time,” Gaddis tells KYW Newsradio. “We got through (Saturday) and now we look towards Red Bull. Our perspective is take it one day at a time and one game at a time. We’ll look back on this game and try and improve and take some things out of it and go towards Red Bull.”
This is the third season in MLS for Gaddis. He was taken by the Union in the second round of the 2012 SuperDraft (35th overall pick) and the West Virginia University product thinks he’s made a lot of strides since becoming a pro.
“I’ve grown tremendously,” Gaddis says. “I feel that I’m calmer throughout the game and I read everything a lot quicker. My defending is very good now, not just 1 v 1, but collectively, as a back four, I (think) it’s been good.”
Gaddis is also enjoying playing in front of a very confident goalie these days in Zac MacMath.
“Zac’s been incredible so far this season,” Gaddis says. “Last week blocking a PK (penalty kick), this week (vs. RSL) blocking a PK, he made maybe two or three vital saves. He’s playing great. That just comes with experience as well. You can tell his leadership is back there in the back four and I love that, to hear Zac commanding his back line.”
The Union will bring a 1-1-4 mark into Wednesday’s match with the 0-2-4 Red Bulls, a match Gaddis is looking forward to.
“That’s what it’s all about,” Gaddis says. “A chance to play against a rival right up 95 is great. I know they’re going to be up for it and we’re going to be up for the task at well. Should be a tremendous atmosphere with the fans from both sides getting into it as well.”
Philadelphia and New York will get underway at 7:30pm on Wednesday night.
You can follow Matt on Twitter @mattleonkyw.