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Kenyan midfielder Richard Odada signs for American side Philadelphia Union

Kenyan footballer Richard Odada has signed for American club Philadelphia Union from Serbian side FK Crvena Zvezda for an undisclosed fee.

His new club has announced the signing of the 21-year-old Harambee Stars defensive midfielder to a two and a half-year contract.

Born in Nairobi, Odada has been playing in Serbia since 2019, when he signed with the Red Star U19s. The senior Belgrade club retained his rights the entire time he was in Serbia, but most of his playing time has come on loans to second-division Grafičar Beograd (25 appearances between the 19/20 and 20/21 seasons) and more recently with first-division side Metalac G.M. (27 in 21/22).

“Richard is a holding midfielder with positional versatility and a great potential to be a valuable contributor as we continue to develop our roster,” said Philadelphia Union sporting director Ernst Tanner.

“He can play multiple midfield roles as well as center back, and he has the height, speed and physicality we were searching for. We look forward to integrating him this year and encouraging his development for the future,” Tanner added.

Odada will join his new club after securing his International Transfer Certificate and P1 visa, and will occupy an international roster spot once he does.

Odada, who also holds Serbian citizenship, made his debut Harambee Stars against Uganda during the World Cup qualifiers in 2021. He scored his first international goal on November 15, 2021 in a 2-1 win against Rwanda.

He now joins former Harambee Stars captain Victor Wanyama in MLS. Wanyama, who previously played for Southampton and Tottenham Hotspur in the English Premier League, currently captains CF Montreal.

Philadelphia currently tops the 14-team MLS table with 45 points from 23 matches.

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