Aug. 10, 2010
CHARLOTTESVILLE — The UVa men’s soccer team opens practice next week. On the field, Bobby McDonnell will be just another player, a freshman trying to carve out a role for the reigning NCAA champion Cavaliers.
But McDonnell is not just another player. He’s the only member of George Gelnovatch’s team whose father is governor of Virginia.
Twin brothers Bobby and Sean are two of Gov. Bob McDonnell’s five children. The Deep Run High School graduates are also first-year students at UVa.
Bobby is 5-10, 160-pound forward whose career Gelnovatch had followed with interest.
“He’s with the Richmond Strikers, and we know that club well,” Gelnovatch said. “We watched him, had our eye on him, and we invited him to our camp this summer, and he took us up on that offer and did very well. He exceeded our expectations and did really well.
“He really does have some potential. He’s got some tools, and we’re going to work with him. He did well enough to make the team.”
In the National Soccer Coaches Association of America preseason poll released this week, UVa is No. 2, behind only Akron. The Wahoos beat the Zips on penalty kicks in last year’s NCAA championship game.
Sean McDonnell will try out for the ‘Hoos after the 2010 season, Gelnovatch said. “He did solid at camp. Not enough to earn a roster spot, but enough for us to give him another look in the winter.”
Bobby McDonnell totaled 33 goals and 20 assists in his four years on Deep Run’s varsity.
UVa junior forward Brian Ownby, an All-America candidate, also graduated from the western Henrico County school.
Ownby led Deep Run to the state Group AAA championship as a senior in 2008. McDonnell was a sophomore on that team.