Age at MLS Cup: 24
Hometown: Bellshill, Scotland
ALL COMPETITIONS IN 2020:
Every MLS Cup championship team in Crew history has had a Scottish guy that nobody could understand. (As I heard ’08 Massive Champion Adam Moffat once say upon introducing himself to a bunch of schoolchildren, “I’m the one who talks like Shrek.”) In 2020, the Scottish Massive Champion was Chris Cadden, a speedy winger who filled any role of asked of him. After winning MLS Cup in his lone season with the Crew, Cadden has returned to Scotland where he now plays for Hibernian FC.
THROUGH JOSH’S EYES
“Cads is probably one of the best guys I’ve ever met in my life. It took us probably a week before either of us could figure out what the hell we were saying to each other. He was my roommate in San Diego on our first preseason trip. As an older guy, I was expecting another veteran. It was a quad, and Seba and Aidan were on one side, and I roomed with Chris. I knew nothing about him. I just knew he was Scottish. I introduced myself and he introduced himself and I still had no idea what his name was. I couldn’t understand him, so I just let it go. Then we started talking back and forth and after about an hour he asked me, ‘Do you even know what I’m saying?’ I said, ‘I can see your mouth moving, but I can’t make out anything that’s happening.’ So I just told him to slow down when he’s talking because I couldn’t get used to that thick Scottish accent. It took me longer than week because sometimes he would stop when he’d see that look on my face and go, ‘Do you understand what I just said to you?’ I’m not the only one who struggled with that, but once we got past that, I developed a very good friendship with him. Even though he’s not with us anymore, I can see that I’ll be friends with that guy for a very long time. Just a great guy and a great player.
“He’s another guy where it’s all about the team. He just wanted to perform well every day and he was all about self-improvement. He would get thrown in at right back and one time at left back. That one time in Seattle, I don’t think he touched the ball with his left foot the whole time he was at left back. (laughs.) Whatever we asked of him, he was another guy who’s ready and willing to step up and accept the role and do anything to get three points.
“He’s an incredible golfer. He put us to shame. Scotland is the birthplace of golf, so I think it’s in his blood. He came out (of the womb) with a golf club in his hand.
“In soccer, he’s a rapid player. When he opens up those legs and runs, there aren’t many guys in the league that can keep up with him. And I always forget how young he is. He acts so much more mature than his age. He’s got a bright future ahead of him. I know he was in the mix for the Scotland national team for a little bit and I can see it happening again. He’s someone who never settles and always pushes himself by doing the extra work. Good things happen to guys like that. I can see bright days ahead for him.
“I blamed everything with COVID on him. COVID started when he came to America, so I blamed it all on him. But I let him off the hook when he became a Browns fan because this was the best Browns season of my life. He actually understood the NFL game a little bit more than I thought he would. I thought I would try to get him to be a LeBron fan, but I think he’s actually a Zion Williamson fan. But I got him with the Browns and he’s a Browns fan for life now. I told him he should open a Browns Backers bar in Scotland whenever he gets a chance. That should be a on his post-career bucket list, to open a Browns Backers bar in Scotland. But yeah, just a great guy. I’m gonna miss him a lot.”
[NOTE: To see a clickable list of earlier installments of this Josh Williams series or other MLS Cup related posts, please click HERE.]
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