By Jeff White
CHARLOTTESVILLE — The men’s soccer program got some much-needed good news this morning. The NCAA cleared Chris Agorsor to play for the Cavaliers this season.
Agorsor, a second-year forward from Severn, Md., started classes at UVa last week. However, George Gelnovatch has held Agorsor out of practice this summer while waiting for the NCAA to rule on what Virginia’s veteran coach called an “agent issue.”
“We just wanted to make sure we did everything by the book,” Gelnovatch said.
The 5-9, 145-pound Agorsor will practice with the ‘Hoos for the first time this afternoon. He won’t travel with the team to Oregon later this week, but Agorsor may be ready for the Sept. 11 home opener against Duke at Klöckner Stadium, depending “on how far along he is with his fitness and his timing,” Gelnovatch said.
The return of Agorsor should provide a boost to a team that went 0-3 in its exhibitions.
“There’s two guys that we’re missing that are pretty doggone important to our goal production, and that’s Chris Agorsor and Brian Ownby,” Gelnovatch said.
A sophomore who will play for the United States in the upcoming under-20 World Cup, Ownby was held out of UVa’s final exhibition — a 2-0 loss to West Virginia — as a precaution Friday night. He’s been bothered by a groin injury.
“I just didn’t want to take a chance,” Gelnovatch said. “If if it was the season, he would have played. He should be 100 percent ready to go, chomping at the bit, for the Portland trip.”
Agorsor was the Gatorade national player of the year as a McDonogh High senior. His talent was evident immediately at UVa last year — he scored four goals in his seven games — but his season ended prematurely in late September when he tore the anterior and posterior cruciate ligaments in his left knee.
Virginia will play two games in the Nike Portland Invitational. UVa meets Portland on Friday night and then faces Washington on Sunday afternoon.
Gelnovatch is still waiting for the NCAA to rule on the eligibility of one of his most talented newcomers, Ole Hengelbrock, a first-year defender from Germany.