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Union Add Damani Richards, Aaron Wheeler To Increase Squad Depth

Two former trialists joined the Philadelphia Union for the 2013 preseason after signing deals with the first team.

Courtesy of the Reading Rage

The 2013 Major League Soccer season will have one of the deepest teams in Philadelphia Union and the team's two latest signings have helped to foster that squad development.

Damani Richards and Aaron Wheeler were announced by the team to be the newest additions to the Union this weekend, bringing back to the club two former trialists. Per Philadelphia and MLS policies, the terms and conditions of the contracts signed by the two were not disclosed to the public.

Union fans may remember Wheeler as an unknown, but tall, striker who trained with the team in 2011. Wheeler was among a group of trialists - or perhaps just players training with Philadelphia - at the first ever team open practice, alongside current, and former, members of the club such as Gabriel Farfan, Thorne Holder and Keon Daniel.

At 6-foot, 4-inches tall, Wheeler immediately became the tallest player on the team and the tallest in club history. He has joined the Union's large group of strikers (Conor Casey, Chandler Hoffman, Antoine Hoppenot, Jack McInerney and Sebastien Le Toux) most likely as the understudy to Casey, a fellow target striker.

Wheeler spent last year with Finish club FC KooTeePee after previous stints with FC Tampa Bay and the Fort Lauderdale Strikers.

Richards was a relative unknown to most in the Philadelphia soccer community until reports surfaced about him signing with the Union. His deal was a one-year contract with an option for two more, according to his agent Andre Fortune.

The Trinidad and Tobago youth international played majorly at left back, a position widely considered to need an upgrade in Philadelphia.