He may have had to wait more than several others in his draft class, but University of Virginia midfielder Eric Bird is now a professional player.
The Philadelphia Union announced Thursday that they have signed Bird, who was drafted with the 41st overall pick in the 2015 MLS SuperDraft. Bird, 21, was a two-year captain for the Cavaliers and helped them win a national championship in 2014.
“Eric is a proven winner and he’s exactly the kind of player we want to have in our locker room,” technical director Chris Albright said in a statement. “He’s done extremely well at the highest collegiate level and we’re confident in his ability to transition to MLS.”
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Taken with the Union's second pick in the draft and after their selection of Dzenan Catic at No. 31, Bird joins the club with 75 college games and 69 starts on his resume. He finished his career at Virginia with 15 goals and 10 assists.
“It’s an honor and a blessing to sign with Philadelphia Union,” Bird said. “I’ve worked my entire life to get to this point and I couldn’t be happier with the opportunity. I want to give all my glory to God as he has made this all possible. And I also want to express my deepest gratitude to my family, friend, teammates, coaches and everyone that’s helped along this journey.”