Photo: Earl Gardner
The Philadelphia Union announced on Wednesday that recent signings Alex Mendoza and Damani Richards have been waived by the team.
The Union had announced the signing of 18-year-old Trinidad & Tobago left back Damani Richards, on Jan. 19. An article from Dave Zeitlin on Feb. 12 described Richards as being groomed to fill the slot behind Gabriel Farfan at left back. But in the same article John Hackworth said, “Damani, being a young player from Trinidad & Tobago, has had the most difficult time [adjusting]” to the rigors of preseason. Richards played 44 second-half minutes in the 4-0 loss to Columbus Crew on Feb. 13 and came on in the 76th minute in the 3-0 win over Toronto.
The release of Richards opens up an international spot on the roster.
The signing of 22-year-old midfielder Alex Mendoza, born in Harrisburg, Pa., was announced on Jan. 24. Mendoza, a Harrisburg City Islanders academy product who joined the Union after several seasons with Mexican club Pumas, played 14 minutes in the 3-0 win over Toronto.
The moves bring into question the Union’s plans at left back—is it now Raymon Gaddis and Don Anding behind Gabriel Farfan—while also underscoring the abundance of central midfielders either already on the roster or training with the team in Orlando.