Continuing to climb the Union depth chart primary goal for rookie Pedro Ribeiro

Tons of skill, willingness to learn keeps rookie Ribeiro in mix

Pedro vs. Houston

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USA Today Sports Images

Pedro Ribeiro has learned a plethora of lessons this season.

The biggest one?

Patience.

The ultra-talented midfielder completed his college career at Coastal Carolina with 31 goals and 26 assists while leading the program to a 69-20-4 record. It included four trips to the NCAA Tournament, five NCAA victories, three Big South regular season titles and a pair of Big South tournament championships.

Ribeiro was the No. 15 overall pick in the 2014 MLS SuperDraft.

But once he arrived with the Philadelphia Union, he soon had to learn what it truly meant to be patient.

Ribeiro trained hard with the Union and spent quite a bit of time with the Harrisburg City Islanders.

He finally got the call, started and played a full 90 minutes in a 2-0 loss to the Houston Dynamo on Aug. 15.

Long before Ribeiro started against Houston, he talked about a long-term vision with the Union.

“For me, I’ve just tried to stay as patient as possible and learning all I can every day,” Ribeiro said. “Coming to this level from college, there have been some changes. The speed and pace of the game are faster. You have less time to think. It’s like you have to know what you plan on doing before the ball hits your foot. You need a plan. It’s also a physical brand of football. I don’t have a problem with that. There’s so much intensity in training that it prepares you for the games. I feel so much more prepared now than before the season started.”

Ribeiro is excited about what lies ahead this season and beyond.

“Getting picked in the draft was a thrill,” he said. “Just coming here was the first step. Since I got here, I feel like I’ve learned something new just about every day. I saw what I had to improve on. I listened to the coaches and kept working. This is my job now and I want to keep pushing ahead and getting better in every part of my game. My teammates here have been amazing. They’ll answer your questions and it’s like one big family here. I think that’s been something I didn’t expect. It has made this season very special to be with this organization.”

Ribeiro’s ability has sure been noticed by his teammates.

“He’s an attacking player with a lot of skill,” said Sebastien Le Toux. “He goes at it very hard like we all do and he’s a competitive player who will keep improving. I think he has a very, very bright future.”

Down the stretch, the Union will be battling for an MLS Cup berth along with a U.S. Open Cup championship match against Seattle Sounders FC on Sept. 16 at PPL Park.

Ribeiro hopes to be in the mix.

“It’s been a busy season with lessons learned,” he said. “There are many more ahead and I would very much like to be part of what happens with this club. I’m going to keep working as hard as possible to get the coaching staff to keep noticing me.”

What do you think of Ribeiro's play this season? Leave a comment below.

Contact Union writer Andy Jasner at andy.jasner@yahoo.com