116street Soccer

Footballing from a lesser authority...

Location: New York, New York

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Know Your Yanks: Chris Albright

Special edition! For those of you with an office pool for who would become the first injury replacement (nerds), or for those of you wondering who was going to break up my alphabetical order, or for the majority who were scared $#!+less at the thought of Frankie Hejduk at another World Cup, I am here with the solution: ladies and gentlemen, the one and only Chris Albright.

Chris Albright is one of a contingent of Philadelphia-area natives assembled within the U.S. Men's National Team, and was named to the World Cup squad on May 3, as a replacement for the injured Frankie Hejduk (with whom he had lost a hotly contested duel for the backup right-back position in the months leading up to the tournament). Albright, a three-time MLS champion, began his career as a striker with D.C. United, but was moved to the right-back position by U.S. Coach Bruce Arena shortly after making his national team debut. Since moving to the Los Angeles Galaxy in 2002, he has taken over that team's right-back position as well, helping them to two MLS Cups in the process.
Albright possesses unusual size for a player at his position, but retains decent speed, and he makes good decisions with the ball. He is capable of going forward to help jump-start the attack, but rarely gets caught out of position defensively. He is also one of the toughest players on the U.S. team. An added benefit to having Albright on the team is his striker's technique and heading ability in front of goal, which makes him a dangerous component up front in free-kick and corner-kick situations.
Albright is unlikely to start for the Nats, as there are doubts about whether he has enough speed to keep pace with world-class wingers and forwards. With that being said, expect him to get a lot of action as a substitute, where his fresh legs and heading ability may come in useful.

Career Highlights:

1999: Makes pro debut with D.C. United (USA, Major League Soccer). Wins MLS Cup with D.C. Makes U.S. Men's National Team debut.

2002: Traded by D.C. to the Los Angeles Galaxy (USA, Major League Soccer) for a draft pick. Wins MLS Cup with Los Angeles.

2005: Wins MLS Cup with Los Angeles.


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