Photo: Earl Gardner
Editor’s note: At the end of the first two Philadelphia Union seasons, we posted a series of end of the season reviews of every Union player. Over the next several weeks, PSP continues with a review of the 2012 season.
As it is for some of the Union’s youngest players, writing a season review of Chris Albright is difficult in that the sample size is so small. Albright saw only spot duty in 2012, playing in eight games, starting three. While he was serviceable in all appearances, and rarely a liability, his lack of speed and athleticism puts his playing future in doubt. His non-physical tools, however, may see his tenure with the Union continue for some time.
Albright did not generate highlight reel material this season, and his high point was perhaps also his last appearance as a Union player. Due to injuries in the backline, Albright started at left back in the final game of the season at home to the New York Red Bull. In a professional display, Albright was a calm presence on the left side of defense, and though the Union lost, it was not down to Albright—and that’s not meant to damn him with faint praise.
While Albright made few highlights, neither did he commit any gaffes of note (though he figured heavily in the winning goal for the Colorado Rapids, way back in the second game of the season). His low point is simply that he got so little playing time and, when he did play, did little to convince anyone that he had the legs to keep his spot.
Positional intelligence. Experience. Knowledge of the game. Professionalism. Albright has clearly been paying attention during his 13-year career, and it shows, though perhaps more on the training ground than the gameday pitch.
Speed. Athleticism. Albright is 33, and that’s old for a soccer player, especially in MLS. Albright just doesn’t have the physical tools necessary to be a starting player, and perhaps not even to make the bench.
Albright’s outlook is mixed, in that his playing career is on the downswing—if it hasn’t ended entirely—but his career in the game may be as healthy as ever. Albright himself has dropped hints about wishing to stay with the Union beyond the end of his playing days and, by all reports, has acted as something of a player-coach already, mentoring the many younger players on the Union roster. If we see Albright again next year, I’d be surprised if it was as anything other than a (full-time) coach.
Stat chart legend:
POS: Position; GP: Games Played; GS: Games Started; MINS: Minutes; PA: Passes Attempted; PC: Passes Completed; P%: Passing Accuracy Percentage; G: Goals; A: Assists; SOG: Shots on Goal; SOG/S%: Percentage of Shots that are on Goal; G/SOG%: Percentage of Shots on Goal Converted; SC%: Scoring Percentage; G/90min: Goals per 90 minutes; Hm G: Home Goals; Rd G: Road Goals; FC: Fouls Committed; FS: Fouls Suffered; YC: Yellow Cards; RC: Red Cards