Since then he has been a fixture on the back line.
With star striker Sebastien Le Toux's being traded during the preseason and then defender and team leader Danny Califf's being dealt during the season, the Union are still looking for a face of the franchise.
Some have suggested defender and team captain Carlos Valdes, and that wouldn't be a bad choice. But Williams has to be at least in the conversation.
Despite his age, Williams is looked on as one of the vets on a team with constant change during his three seasons.
"I wouldn't call him one of the young kids because he has enough experience in [his] third year in the league," Union team manager John Hackworth said.
The Union have won three out of their last four, but before that they went on an eight-game winless skid. At that time, Hackworth said he talked to Williams about his expectations of the defender's being one of the team's leaders.
"I don't have anything negative to say of him," Hackworth said. "I think he has done a fantastic job in all ways and all areas we have asked."
Williams isn't willing to say he could be the face of the franchise, but he leaves no doubt about his affinity for the Union.
"I love it here, love our team and all our guys, especially on our coaching staff," Williams said.
The final stretch begins on Saturday in Houston against the Dynamo, the same team that knocked the Union out of last year's MLS playoffs. Williams, who has recently been battling an ankle injury, understands how important the late games are for the team and players.
"My first year, I played eight games, and it was huge for me and gave me a gauge for what the league was like and what to expect," he said. "I went to preseason excited that I got that experience, and it calmed down some of the nerves."
Actually, calm and Williams are not usually associated. He plays with an all-out fury, whether it's heaving a long throw-in, making one of his patented runs from the back, or taking on an offensive player one-on-one.
He has shown the ability to lead on or off the field. Williams said a strong final three games will bode well for 2013, the same way he ended in 2010, back in the old days when he used to be considered a young player.
Contact Marc Narducci at firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow on Twitter @sjnard.