Philadelphia Union sign midfielder and Harrisburg native Alex Mendoza

New Union midfielder Alex Mendoza. (Photo courtesy of the Philadelphia Union)

Alex Mendoza has come a long way since his days growing up in Harrisburg. In just a few short years, the 22-year-old moved from a quiet life in central Pennsylvania to a place with one of Mexico's most famous soccer teams.

Now Mendoza is comning back to his home state.

The 24-year-old midfielder officially joined the Philadelphia Union on Thursday, after a short trial with during the team's preseason training camp.

Mendoza is a native of Harrisburg and a dual citizen of the United States and Mexico. He attenaded Red Land High School in Lewisberry, Pa, and played youth soccer in the academy program of the Harrisburg City Islanders, the Union's minor-league USL PRO affiliate.

In 2009, Mendoza moved to Mexico City, Mexico to join UNAM Pumas - one of the nation's best-known teams. He got some time with the first team, and also played for the club's reserve and under-20 youth teams.