Transfer Tracker

New York City FC sign Rio Hope-Gund from MLS NEXT Pro

Rio Hope-gund


New York City FC have elevated MLS NEXT Pro defender Rio Hope-Gund to a first-team contract through the 2024 MLS season, with options through 2026, the club announced Friday.

Selected in the first round of the 2021 MLS SuperDraft by Orlando City SC, the 24-year-old center back had an assist in 24 appearances last season with NYCFC II.

“We are delighted to have signed Rio to a first team contract,” sporting director David Lee said. “We’ve been impressed with Rio’s development since he joined the second team last season. He’s consistently worked hard and demonstrated his professionalism since joining the club, and is deserving of this opportunity."

Hope-Gund, who also featured for D.C. United's then-USL Championship affiliate Loudoun United FC in 2022, joins a center back unit led by Birk Risa and Thiago Martins.

“New York City is my home and I’m excited to represent this club with honor,” Hope-Gund said. “... I now feel ready to take this next step in my career."

In search of their first win of the 2024 MLS season, NYCFC visit Western Conference foe St. Louis CITY SC Saturday night (8:30 pm ET | MLS Season Pass).