The numbers don't lie: Chris Albright has been a ghost.
Since joining the Union in the offseason, the veteran defender has played in only four matches -- including starts March 18 vs. Colorado and March 24 at Chicago. But since March 31, he's played twice for a total on 10 minutes.
Still, Albright's made the matchday 18 more times than not and he's staying humble about his chances.
I caught up with the 33-year-old Philly native Wednesday at PPL Park, following training. Here are Albright's thoughts on this season, next season and staying up on pop culture with the kids in the Union's locker room.
On reduced playing time
“Obviously, I think I can still play at this level. That’s
why I’m here. I’ve definitely taken on more of a leadership role by default
because I’m one of the older guys. I think that was demanded of me anyway, and
I enjoy that. We have a team that’s incredibly young. And any of the
experiences I can impart on these guys, I will. I’ve been in a lot of locker
rooms and hopefully I have a good sense of what is needed at the right times
and I’ve enjoyed that role."
On his contract for next season
“I don’t know what the plan is. I’d like to keep playing,
and I guess we’ll see what happens."
On being on the bench, listed on the matchday roster as an ‘administrator’ for a match last month at PPL Park
“That was fun. Hack (John Hackworth) has been good about giving me a voice
with the team. He understands I’ve been around and they lean on me for certain
things, as well as Brian and Carlos and other guys with experience. It’s fun to
have an important role even when I’m not on the field.
On feeling old at times, with MLS' youngest club
“I’d like to think I can keep up with the pop-culture
stuff. I have kids, so I can bridge that gap. But when the years get tossed
out, like, ‘He’s a 91 or a 92.’ What the hell does that mean? Then someone
says, ‘He’s a 95.’ Just hearing years like that, with when they were born, I’m
a 79. I’m a kid of the 70s. That difference is vast, but it’s fun. I give them
a lot of crap and tell them they need to grow up. Then they call me the Old
Man, so it’s fun."
On leaving Philly, if an opportunity to play more frequently came up
“No, I want to be with this organization. I’m committed
to the Union and to the staff. That situation is evolving and John’s doing a
great job. I’m a Philly kid and I’d love to stay involved here."
A couple notes from today:
- Ivy League guy Antoine Hoppenot was walking through PPL Park wearing a 'Princeton University Dodgeball Tournament 2011' T-shirt.
- Michael Farfan sat in on Jack McInerney's press conference, trying to get the kid to crack a smile.
- Bakary Soumare is available for the week, though Hackworth said there's no need to rush anything. Doesn't sound like he'll be a go Friday vs. Real Salt Lake.
Labels: Antoine Hoppenot, Bakary Soumare, Chris Albright, Jack McInerney, John Hackworth, Michael Farfan