Photo: Paul Rudderow
Sheanon Williams broke his mouth, played out of position at the last minute, and put in an excellent 90 minutes to help secure a clean sheet. That seems good enough to make him PSP’s Philadelphia Player of the Week.
The speedy Philadelphia Union right back was asked shortly before Saturday’s match against Columbus to shift over to center back after starter Danny Califf aggravated a hamstring injury in pregame warm-ups. Williams, who’s listed at 5-11, was matched up with the strike duo of Olman Vargas and Aaron Schoenfeld, who stand 6-2 and 6-4 respectively, while also having to help deal with the 6-4 center back, Chad Marshall, on corner kicks.
The result was a second consecutive Union clean sheet. As Eli Pearlman-Storch put it in PSP’s analysis of the game, “Williams used his strength and positioning along with tremendous leaping ability to completely mask the height discrepancy between him and his mark, 6-4 striker Aaron Schoenfeld.” For a player playing his third position in five games this season for the Union, that’s impressive.
And considering he did it with stitches in his mouth due to a training injury, and several hard knocks to the head during the game, it’s that much more impressive. (Though it is concerning that the Union training staff took a relatively short time to evaluate his fitness for play after the knocks, despite what’s supposed to be a heightened awareness of concussions around the league.)
Honorable mention: Zac MacMath, who had one of the saves of the year; Keon Daniel and Gabriel Farfan, who continued their solid play; Gabriel Gomez, who scored the game’s lone goal; and Antonie Hoppenot, who earned his first professional appearance with a terrific performance in the Union’s reserve game, scoring one goal and assisting on another.