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Union sign Eric Bird

The Virginia midfielder has inked his first pro contract.

Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

The Union have officially announced the signing of Eric Bird, the club's second selection in this year's SuperDraft.

Bird played all four years at the University of Virginia, starting the final three. Despite being more of a box-to-box midfielder, Bird chipped in his fair share of goals during his time as a Cavalier. The Virginia-born midfielder scored 15 times in more than 70 college appearances, including some big goals in ACC and NCAA tournaments.

Bird was an All-ACC and All-American honoree in each of his final two years, earning a Second-Team All-American bid in 2014, when Virginia won the College Cup.

Prior to the SuperDraft, many mocks had Bird going late in the first round, falling to either DC United or Real Salt Lake. Pundits viewed Bird as a workhorse in the center of the midfield, but also noted his passing vision and goalscoring ability. On draft day, both Bird and Dan Metzger, another central midfielder often mentioned in the same breath as Bird, plummted down the boards. Bird went to the Union with the 41st pick, and DC United selected Metzger with the 42nd pick, just before everyone cleared out of the grand ballroom at the Philadelphia Convention Center.

Bird will likely be sent to Harrisburg to get some playing time once the USL season starts, along with a few other new Union signees.