Player of the Week

Player of the Week: Pedro Ribeiro

Photo: Paul Rudderow

It was an ugly game.

An ugly game on an ugly day with ugly goals. And, while the Union failed to beat the New York Corporate Mascots on Saturday, a sopping field, soft penalty, and the specter of the U.S. Open Cup final colluding to hold them to only a draw, that point was earned through the important interventions of one player: Pedro Ribeiro.

Yet another player who’s first-team chances improved drastically with the appointment of Jim Curtin, Ribeiro spent the first half of the season toiling in Harrisburg, often as a center back rather than as an attacking midfielder. Now called into the first-team fold, Ribeiro has again been played out of position, shifting in the other direction this time, to center forward as the stand-in for Conor Casey.

While an unexpected move at first glance, Ribeiro makes for a decent Casey impersonator. Big body, great feet—if he were bald and a little pastier, he’d be perfect. Ribeiro isn’t, of course, a target man, and won’t play the majority of his career in that spot. His ball skills and vision are too good to push that far away from midfield. But on a day when ball skills weren’t worth a damn anyway, Union fans saw that Ribeiro can scrap, too.

His first MLS goal came about through effort and application, turning a Jamison Olave clearance into an unintentional assist, giving the excellent Luis Robles no chance. The move that won the equalizing penalty showed more skill. Deftly taking the ball out of the air with his chest, Ribeiro showed quickness and agility to dance in front of Ibrahim Segkaya. While Segkaya may not see it that way, he clearly brought down the Brazilian, and Le Toux doesn’t miss from 12 yards.

Ribeiro is mostly a big (very big) ball of potential. He could be a very important player for the Union in the future, regardless of where he plays. Indeed, we here at PSP could hardly do better than coach Curtin to explain it:

He rises to the occasion every time. He’s a soccer player, man, the kid is—he’s solid. He’s got great feet. Great teammate, always a smile on his face, loves coming to work. I can’t say enough about him. He’s going to be a part of this organization for long time.

That’s why Pedro Ribeiro is PSP’s Player of the Week.


  1. Old soccer coach says:

    You are hard on McMath in my opinion. He flubbed the shot and cost two points thereby, but how many times did he succeed as “sweeper keeper” in preventing disaster while we were one v one against Grumpy Old Man #2 (Cahill)? He preserved the fight back opportunity very well. It’s not his fault that Edu put the rebound wide when Robles was on the ground, he is not solely responsible for dropping the two points.

  2. I would like to see him spell LeToux or Wenger some down the stretch but Casey needs to be subbed nearly every match. Unless Brown steps it up, Pedro probably plays mostly as target this year. Can Wheeler ever make it back from the failed CB turn?

    • Why not put Seba up top as target when you bring Pedro in for Connor?

      • Le Toux is not a target guy at all. He needs somebody to play off of. His best stretches in a Union kit have come when working with Moreno, Mwanga, or Casey.

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