Orlando City announced Thursday that the club has signed 2021 MLS SuperDraft pick Rio Hope-Gund to a one-year contract, with club options in 2022, 2023 and 2024. Hope-Gund will be added to the team’s Supplemental Roster.
Drafted 19th overall by the Lions, Hope-Gund did not officially join the Lions until this past week. The defender had been playing with top ranked Georgetown through the rescheduled 2020 NCAA spring season, playing and starting in all eight matches. Playing in the stalwart Hoyas defense, half of the matches he played in were shutouts for the team.
“We’re excited to sign Rio after taking him in the 2021 MLS SuperDraft,” said Orlando City EVP of Soccer Operations Luiz Muzzi said in a statement. “We decided after the draft that it would be beneficial for him to return to Georgetown for the Hoyas’ spring season and he’s done well there, helping their defense to only allow five goals across their eight games played so far and starting in all of them. He’s a player that we were really happy to get this year, who has shown an ability to lead as Team Captain for Georgetown and we think now is the right time to bring him on board ahead of our 2021 MLS season.”
Hope-Gund will now join a bolstered defense for the Lions that is looking to build upon a successful 2020 campaign.
Orlando City roster (as of April 8, 2021):
Goalkeeper (3): Pedro Gallese, Mason Stajduhar (HG), Brandon Austin
Defenders (8): Kyle Smith, Ruan, João Moutinho, Robin Jansson, Rodrigo Schlegel, Antonio Carlos, Rio Hope-Gund, Michael Halliday (HG)
Midfielders (9): Oriol Rosell, Jhegson Sebastián Méndez, Andrés Perea, Mauricio Pereyra (DP), David Loera (HG), Jordan Bender (HG), Júnior Urso, Joey DeZart, Raul Aguilera Jr (HG)
Forwards (9): Nani (c, DP), Chris Mueller, Tesho Akindele, Benji Michel (HG), Matheus Aiás, Alexander Alvarado, Alexandre Pato, Silvester van der Water, Wilfredo Rivera (HG)
DP – Designated Player
HG – Homegrown Player
Out on Loan
Daryl Dike – Short term loan to Barnsley
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