Former Philadelphia Union youth Darius Madison has been given a shot to continue his pro career in upstate New York with the Rochester Rhinos.
The Philadelphia native was announced as the latest signing for the USL club on Monday.
Madison was drafted 70th overall by Toronto FC last January but despite a fine showing in preseason with Toronto FC II, he left the club when contract talks stalled and signed his first pro contract with Kitsap Pumas in the Premier Development League, where he had a goal in 10 appearances.
“I’m very excited to get this opportunity with the Rhinos,” Madison said in a news release. “I’m already enjoying working with Coach Lilley, and with the squad that we have in camp I believe we’re set up to have a successful 2017 season.”
Madison was part of the Philadelphia Union Academy setup in its early pre-U.S. Soccer Development Academy era but featured regularly for the Union in the MLS Reserve League, scoring a goal in nine appearances. He also had eight goals in 20 appearances in the PDL for Reading United in the 2013 and 2014 seasons.
He returned to Talen Energy Stadium (then-PPL Park) with his Virginia Cavaliers in the 2013 College Cup and helped lead them to the championship in the 2014 College Cup with the team’s only goal over the weekend in the semifinal. But his senior year started in turmoil when he was dismissed from the team right before the season started and he ended up spending his senior season at UMBC.
Madison is the second player with ties to the Union and the Philadelphia area to join the Rhinos. Defender Joe Farrell, who was named second team all-USL in his rookie season last year, played at La Salle and hails from Blue Bell, Pennsylvania.