The Pittsburgh Riverhounds have released goalkeeper Mauricio Vargas and midfielder Alex Harlley, the team announced Tuesday morning.
Vargas’ release came after his request to return to his home country of Costa Rica. Vargas left Costa Rica in 2010 to attend college in the U.S. However, he requested to go home and continue his soccer career there.
“In recent days, I have made the decision to return home to Costa Rica; I left in 2010 and haven’t been back since,” Vargas said. “Right now, I would really like to be close to my family again and hopefully continue my soccer career. I want to thank the city of Pittsburgh for the amazing time I had here. I want to thank a great institution, the Pittsburgh Riverhounds, for opening the doors to my professional career.”
Head coach Dave Brandt thanked Vargas for his contributions to the Riverhounds.
“Mauricio has a strong desire to go home to Costa Rica and pursue his career there,” Brandt said. “It’s something that we’re happy to help him do,” Brandt said. “We value and appreciate his contribution to the club this year.”
Vargas initially came to the Riverhounds as a backup to goalkeeper Hunter Gilstrap. However, Vargas earned the starting job, making 12 starts, but a recent back injury sidelined him. The team brought in Zack Steffen from the Columbus Crew as Vargas’ replacement.
Harlley was released after playing in five matches for the Riverhounds this season.
The Riverhounds will face Orlando City B on Saturday, Sept. 3 at 7:30 p.m. EDT.
Image credit: Phil Didion/WCPO