The Union only lost one player in Wednesday's expansion draft, but it was a player for whom many observers had high hopes. Brazilian forward/midfielder hybrid Pedro Ribeiro is headed to Orlando City.
Ribeiro made nine appearances for the Union in 2014, his rookie season. He scored two goals in nine league games, including three starts, and also made a few U.S. Open Cup appearances.
John Hackworth and his staff were very high on Ribeiro when they selected him in the first round of the 2014 SuperDraft. Jim Curtin liked him, but not quite as much. Union fans, especially those able to watch him in Harrisburg, liked him more than anyone - but they were disappointed when Ribeiro didn't play at his best position, playmaking midfielder.
Ribeiro spent much of his time at PPL Park as a striker. Sometimes it worked out. Sometimes it didn't, as evidenced by his lack of pace and the glaring misses that cost the Union dearly late in the season.
Personally, I was more worried that the Union would lose central defender Austin Berry. And no matter your opinion of Ribeiro, you could easily argue that the biggest news of the day is that the Union did not get rid of either of their available goalkeepers, Rais Mbolhi and Zac MacMath.
I also agree with this succinctly-tweeted analysis by Matt De George of the Delaware County Times:
Here are all of the players taken in the expansion draft. Orlando and New York alternated picks, with Orlando going first. Each team's picks are listed in order of selection.
Orlando City: GK Donovan Ricketts (Portland Timbers), M Tony Cascio (Colorado Rapids), D Jalil Anibaba (Seattle Sounders), M Pedro Ribeiro (Philadelphia Union), M Lewis Neal (D.C. United), F Jairo Arrieta (Columbus Crew), D Heath Pearce (Montréal Impact), F Danny Mwanga (Colorado Rapids), F Mark Sherrod (Houston Dynamo), D Eric Gehrig (Columbus Crew)