Thursday, it was announced that the Houston Dynamo had traded with the Philadelphia Union for defender Sheanon Williams and an international roster spot. Wanting to know more we went right to Eugene Rupinski of Brotherly Game, the SB Nation blog covering the Union, to find out more about the defender.
DT: Williams seems to play mostly as an outside back. Does he have any match minutes as a center back and if so how does he fare in the center?
Sheanon has played center back in a pinch and is serviceable at it. I'd keep him as an option in a pinch, however he is certainly stronger at full back and should probably be considered only in an emergency.
DT: What is Williams greatest strength on the field? His biggest weakness?
His greatest strengths are his long throw ins, which are an offensive weapon.
He's also good at making overlapping runs up the flank with the winger. While maybe not the fastest guy on the pitch, he's fast enough to get back on defense after those runs. As for weaknesses, he can have a short fuse and take dumb penalties. He's accumulated 20 yellow cards and 3 red cards in his MLS career.
DT: Williams had lost his starting spot with the Union. What was the reason for his new found home on the bench?
Williams was shifted to left back earlier this year, ostensibly to give Ray Gaddis more time at his natural right back position. Williams then fell behind Fabinho on the depth chart after the Brazilian saw a resurgence in his career. Gaddis faltered a bit at right back, so he and Williams were platooning the position while picking up the odd shift on the left when Fabinho needed a rest.
DT: Has Williams suffered from injuries in his career or is he generally pretty boo-boo free?
He has picked up injuries here and there, but he's definitely not brittle. He's played over 2000 minutes every season except his rookie season in 2010 and this season, where he's already amassed just under 1300 minutes. He's more likely to miss a match from yellow card suspension or a red card than an injury.
DT: How was Williams as a veteran presence on the field?
As much as he can be a hot-head, his play can be very calming. He doesn't panic on the ball, and is confident facing even the best offensive threat. He's definitely a guy that younger players could learn some things from.
Huge thanks to Eugene for answering our questions about Williams! You can check out Brotherly Game for my answers to his questions about Allocation Money.