Philadelphia Union announced Thursday it has agreed to terms with midfielder Eric Bird. Drafted with the No. 41 overall pick in the 2015 MLS SuperDraft, Bird was a two-year captain for the University of Virginia and help lead the Cavaliers to a national championship in 2014. Per club and league policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.
“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. “He’s done extremely well at the highest collegiate level and we’re confident in his ability to transition to MLS.”
Bird, 21, was the second selection the Union made in the 2015 SuperDraft. At Virginia, he played in 75 games, with 69 starts over his four-year career. He was a two-time NSCAA All-American – a third-team selection in 2013 and a second-team selection in 2014 – leading the Cavaliers to the NCAA College Cup in both seasons and ultimately winning it in 2014. 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.”
The Union continue the 2015 MLS Regular Season against Real Salt Lake at Rio Tinto Staidum on Saturday at 9:30 p.m., broadcast on The Comcast Network.
Name: Eric Bird
College: University of Virginia
Birthplace: Virginia Beach, Va.