It’s a bittersweet time. The MLS playoffs are about to begin and, as we all know, the Union will not be participating. What’s more, the team ended the season with a whimper, losing its last three games, including the home finale against the New York Red Bulls, 3–0.
That game, and Wednesday’s loss to Kansas City, though in many ways terrible, did have a few good performances, including another positive, aggressive display from Raymon Gaddis, who deserves nothing but praise for the rookie season he just put together. The future is bright for him.
However, the final Player of the Week for the season is going to a man at the other end of his playing career, Chris Albright. Albright hasn’t seen the field very much since his arrival in Philadelphia in February, appearing only eight times, primarily as a substitute. Yet he has never complained, and always given his all. On Saturday, in light of the Union’s lack of left-back depth, Albright got a start and, though not flashy, put in his best performance in Union blue.
Was Chris Albright the best Union player this week? No. But what he was, and has been since his arrival, is a consummate professional, setting an example for an incredibly young team on what it means to play with pride. A Philadelphia native and unofficial player-coach all season long, Albright has said he has no intentions of playing for another MLS team. He doesn’t have the physical tools anymore to get anything more than spot duty on the Union, so don’t be surprised if Albright moves to the other end of the bench during the offseason and joins the coaching staff full-time.
In whatever capacity, we here at the PSP—and the Union—will be glad to have Chris Albright, PSP’s final Player of the Week for 2012, around.