After missing much of the 2009 season due to a severe hip injury, Mendes returned to action in 2010 with perhaps his best season since joining the club. The longest tenured Red Bull took over a starting spot in central defense midway through the season, and helped the New York defense become the stingiest in the Eastern Conference. In 2010, the veteran will continue to be an important part of the defense as the team looks to replicate its performance of a year ago.
Después de perder gran parte de la temporada 2009 debido a una severa lesión en la cadera, Mendes volvió a la acción en el 2010, con quizás su mejor temporada desde que llegó al club. El jugador con más partidos como titular de los Red Bulls se hizo cargo de un puesto como titular en el centro de la defensa a medio camino a través de la temporada y ayudó a la defensa de Nueva York a ser la mejor en la Conferencia Este. En el 2010 el veterano defensa seguirá siendo una parte importante ya que el equipo busca repetir sus resultados de año anterior.
2010: Returned from injury in 2009 to become a first-choice starting defender by the midway point of the season. Appeared in 21 matches, starting 20. Made first appearance since hip surgery on April 27 in 2-1 win over Philadelphia, playing the first half. Captained the team in 3-0 victory over New England on May 12 in the U.S. Open Cup. Assisted on team’s lone goal vs. Columbus on May 20 after coming on as a substitute in the 71st minute. Captained the team in 3-1 friendly victory over Juventus FC on May 23. Was suspended for June 2 clash vs. Houston after being sent off while picking up two yellow cards in 3-2 loss at New England on May 29. Made 100th career regular season start at Chicago on Aug. 8.
2009: Played in 12 games, starting in 11. Started in the team’s first game of the season in Seattle on March 19. Underwent season-ending surgery to repair a torn labrum in his hip – an injury that he had been carrying since the 2008 season.
2008: Played in 17 games, starting in 10. Underwent successful sports hernia surgery on Oct. 23 in Germany, forcing him to miss two weeks of action. Made three appearances and two starts in the playoffs. Started in central defense for the Western Conference Final and MLS Cup Final.
2007: Was a member of the Red Bulls back line starting 19 of 23 matches. Helped Red Bulls earn 10 shutouts. Played 1,709 minutes of action.
2006: Started every game on the season but one, which was due to caution point accumulation. For his efforts, he was voted team Defender of the Year by members of the soccer media.
2005: Played in 24 games (21 starts) during his first year in MLS.
2004: Played 1,516 minutes for the Rochester Rhinos of the USL First Division.
2003: Played 1,425 minutes for the Rochester Rhinos. Scored his first goal against Atlanta on Aug. 19. 2002: Played 10 games for the Long Island Rough Riders.
In senior season, Mendes started in 17 matches for Old Dominion University. Finished up his yearwith two goals and three assists. Recorded 11 goals and 25 assists over four-year career. Was three-time All-Colonial Athletic Assocation First Team selection and three-time All-State selection. Was a two-time CAA All Tournament Selection. Part of the NSCAA All-South Atlantic First and Third Teams as a junior and senior, respectively. Third all-time in assists in ODU history. Earned CAA Rookie of the Year in 1998, becoming the first player in ODU history to receive the award.
Son of Jose and Maria Mendes. Has two sisters, Melissa and Juliana, and a brother, Robert. Majored in Education. Plays the drums and guitar and has played sets in the Red Bulls post-game pub. Mendes along with six of his teammates appeared in a Sept. 2005 Vogue Magazine photo spread with Victoria’s Secret supermodel Gisele Bundchen. Has an extensive baseball cap collection. Favorite TV shows include Curb Your Enthusiasm and The Office.