Philadelphia Union defender Ray Gaddis glorifies God through soccer

As part of his pre-match routine every time he puts on his No. 28 jersey as a member of the Philadelphia Union, Ray Gaddis reads his Bible.

Gaddis, selected by the Union out of West Virginia University with the 35th pick in the 2012 MLS SuperDraft, is about to begin his eighth season with the team. During a 1-0 win on Aug. 25 against the New England Revolution, Gaddis became the Union’s all-time leader in minutes played.

In his press conference after breaking the record, the first thing Gaddis did was give thanks to God.

“Glory be to God, first and foremost,” he said. “I just thank Him for giving me the ability and I thank the coaches for thinking of me for the opportunity to play minutes.”

Gaddis has made 162 starts as part of the Union’s back line, also a club record. He views his faith as a major reason for his consistency throughout his career.

“It’s always impacted my game to stay grounded. You can never get too high or get too low on yourself; you have to stay even-keeled,” Gaddis told “It’s also helped with the experience of living out my dream.”

He hosted two Faith Nights after Union home games last season and shared with fans why his relationship with Christ is so important to him.

Gaddis’ favorite Bible verse is Romans 8:31, which says, “What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?”

“I relate that in a sense of no matter the obstacle, opposition or roadblock that you have in life, you know that God is for you,” Gaddis explained to the Union’s Ashton Leber. “It’s just a matter of time before you complete the divine purpose that God has for your life.”

Gaddis and the Union host Toronto FC in their first game of the 2019 season on March 2 at 1 p.m. ET.

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