New York City FC Signs Defender Rio Hope-Gund 


New York City FC today announced that it has signed defender Rio Hope-Gund to a contract through 2024, with options through 2026.

The defender joins the first team after having played for MLS NEXT Pro affiliate, New York City FC II last season. The Brooklyn native played in 24 matches, notching one assist during the 2023 campaign. Hope-Gund becomes the 88th player from MLS NEXT Pro to sign a first team contract.

“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. Rio offers depth and quality at the center back position, as we aim to challenge in all competitions this season.”

Hope-Gund was drafted by Orlando City in the first round of the 2021 MLS SuperDraft. During his time in Orlando, he shared a locker room with New York City FC midfielder Andres Perea. After his stint in Florida, Hope-Gund moved to D.C. United and then-affiliate Loudoun United FC of the USL Championship. It was there where he made his professional debut, making 24 appearances for the club.

While in college, Hope-Gund played a critical role in helping Georgetown University win the Big East regular season title, the Big East tournament and the NCAA Men’s National Championship.

Born in Manhattan and raised in SoHo and Brooklyn, the defender grew up playing in the local soccer scene where he got to play alongside other New York City academy standouts which include the likes of midfielders James Sands and Justin Haak, amongst others.

“New York City is my home and I’m excited to represent this club with honor,” said defender Rio Hope-Gund. “Having played with a lot of the guys on the team growing up, they have made me feel right at home since I arrived. Being part of the second team last season and working with the amazing coaching and support staff has helped me grow as a player. I now feel ready to take this next step in my career. I can’t wait to get started and show everyone what I can do, I hope to contribute to this team’s success this season and hopefully win trophies for our fans, my family and the city I grew up in.”

Transaction: New York City FC signs defender Rio Hope-Gund to a contract through 2024 with options through 2026.

Name: Rio Hope-Gund

Position: Defender

Height: 6’0”

Weight: 179lb

Date of Birth: August 20, 1999

Hometown: Manhattan, NY

Acquired From: New York City FC II

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