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A Philadelphia Union blog hosted by Christopher A. Vito and Matthew De George

Friday, April 4, 2014

Carroll set to make Union history ... and join elite MLS club

Some fuss was made in last year’s season finale when Sheanon Williams became the first member of the Philadelphia Union to make 100 MLS appearances, a notable milestone for a team at the end of its fourth season. The news was understandably overshadowed by a playoff race that didn’t go the club’s way, but it was a notable achievement nonetheless.

With Williams on the shelf to start the season, Union captain Brian Carroll is now in line to catch him in the 100-cap club, positioned to reach the milestone this weekend when the Union travel to Chicago.

Brian Carroll is poised to leap into history this weekend
with his 100th appearance for the Union. (AP)

Union manager John Hackworth mentioned what the accolade would mean for his captain.

“I think that would say a lot,” Hackworth said. “Brian is obviously very important to our team. He has accepted the responsibility on our team the last couple of years of the leadership role. As a pro, if you look at the course of his career, he has always been a player who found his way into important position and consistently led by example. If you talk to coaches and players around the league, nobody every says anything but position things about the way Brian players and conducts himself on and off the field. Hitting a milestone like that is a great recognition for all the work that he does.”

Carroll remains behind Williams in one regard, though: All 100 of Williams’ appearances have been starts. Carroll has one substitute appearance to his name.

Once Carroll hits the mark, there are plenty of others waiting in the wings to make their 100th Union cap:

Sebastien Le Toux: 98 (91 starts; he has 159 total MLS appearances)
Jack McInerney: 95 (only 53 starts)
Amobi Okugo: 89 (74 starts)

More pertinent to Carroll’s place in history, though, is that the 11-year veteran will join a select group of players to make 100 or more league appearances with two different clubs. The 32-year-old midfielder has played in 304 MLS games, 121 of them with D.C. United and 84 with Columbus.

As far as I can find by stitching together info from media guides and other sources, he would be only the 10th MLS player (fifth active) to reach the 100-cap milestone with two clubs:

Jesse Marsch: 106 with Chivas, 200 with Chicago
Diego Gutierrez: 119 with Kansas City, 157 with Chicago
Mike Magee: 105 with Los Angeles, 130 with New York
Pablo Mastroeni: 100 with Miami, 225 with Colorado
Kyle Beckerman: 145 with Colorado, 180 with Real Salt Lake
Drew Moor: 123 with Dallas, 124 with Colorado
Edson Buddle: 106 with Columbus, 106 with Los Angeles
Tony Meola: 125 with Kansas City, 125 with New York
Steve Ralston: 177 with Tampa, 201 with New England

(A worthwhile side note: Nick Rimando played 98 games with D.C. United before 204 and counting with RSL. If there’s anyone of note missing, please let me know and I can revisit the spotty info that lead to his exclusion.)

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