What Pedro Ribeiro Brings to Orlando City SC


On Wednesday, Major League Soccer held an expansion draft for the two new sides, Orlando City SC and New York City FC, where the full results can be found here. In the fourth round, Orlando City selected Philadelphia Union rookie, Pedro Ribeiro. For some, it was a bit of a shock for him to be taken that high up in the draft.

Many people, especially fans of the Philadelphia Union, don’t think he should have been taken at all because he should have been protected over Fabinho. Why he was left exposed and back up left full back was protected did not make sense to a lot of people, including myself. That decision was made though and it results in Pedro Ribeiro heading to Orlando where he will join former teammate, Amobi Okugo, as well as fellow Brazilian, Kaka.

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So who is Pedro Ribeiro?

As a Philadelphia Union fan I saw him up close and saw what he may be able to bring to a team in the future because the potential is definitely there. Now when I was watching him, he was playing as a lone striker which is not his position. His natural position is more an attacking midfielder’s role.

He never got that chance here or at the Philadelphia Union’s affiliate, the Harrisburg City Islanders, where he where he was deployed as a center back or up top as well. I would like to see Orlando use him where he is most comfortable, in that midfield role. With some more development, I think he could really find a home in MLS at that position.

Pedro Ribeiro is a definitely a big man. He stands at 6’4”, so he immediately brings a physical presence wherever he is positioned on the field. He just needs to learn to use that to his advantage. When he learns how to do that, he will be hard to push off the ball and as a midfielder, that is an especially good trait.

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  • He has a decent touch, especially for a man of his size, which will help him succeed as a future midfielder in this league. Ribeiro did show flashes of creativity in his limited playing time with the Union. Now he was mostly playing hold up play as the lone striker, but you could see his footwork was there.

    For Philadelphia, he scored twice in his nine games he played in for the league. He also played in the US Open Cup where he missed a shot in the final which would have almost sealed a win for the Philadelphia Union.

    Pedro Ribeiro showed that he has plenty of potential in this league. Now he is a bit older than most rookies, already 24, but if played in the right system under coaches who can develop him, he will become a mainstay in this league. Now it is up to Orlando City and Pedro himself to turn him into that player.