THE UNION was forced to say goodbye to its promising 2014 first-round pick yesterday. With Major League Soccer adding two teams - Orlando City SC and New York City FC- for next year, an expansion draft was held to help fill their rosters.
In the fourth round, Orlando plucked 24-year-old Pedro Ribeiro from the Union roster. Ribeiro, a 6-4 midfielder/forward who was selected 15th overall in 2014, split time with Harrisburg City - the Union's USL affiliate - and the Union. He joined the Union toward the end of the summer and made his debut on Aug. 15. In nine games, including three starts, Ribeiro scored two goals - including a game-winner against Sporting Kansas City on Oct. 18.
Ribeiro is set to join former Union teammate Amobi Okugo in Orlando. Okugo, a young, talented midfielder, was traded to Orlando on Monday for allocation money and a 2016 second-round pick.
Among those who were not protected by the Union and not selected by either Orlando or New York were goalkeeper Zac MacMath, midfielder Danny Cruz and defender Austin Berry.