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CHARLOTTESVILLE – Former Cavalier goalkeeper and 2009 ACC Tournament and NCAA College Cup Most Valuable Player Diego Restrepo has signed a contract to play professional soccer for Colombia’s America de Cali.

“I’m very excited to join America de Cali, one of the most historic clubs both in Colombia and in South American soccer,” Restrepo said. “It’s a dream come true for me. I’m very thankful to all the coaches and teammates throughout my career that have helped mold me as a soccer player and as a person.”

Restrepo was the 2009 NCAA College Cup’s Defensive Most Valuable Player after helping the Cavaliers capture the national championship. He allowed eight goals for a goals-against average of 0.31 in 2009, and tallied a school-record 16 shutouts (including a school-record 11-consecutive). Restrepo was named the ACC Tournament MVP after the Cavaliers captured the conference crown and was also named a Soccer America MVP and an All-South Atlantic Region third team member by the NSCAA.

Prior to the 2010 season, Restrepo was named a College Soccer News and Soccer America preseason All-American. The Cavaliers earned a berth to the NCAA Tournament for the 30th-consecutive season in 2010.

“We are very excited for Diego and this is a great opportunity that he deserves,” Virginia head coach George Gelnovatch said. “Diego was instrumental in helping us win a national championship in 2009. I know becoming a professional soccer player was one of his goals, but I also know how important it is to him to graduate, which he plans to do in the summer.”

“I’m especially thankful of Coach Gelnovatch, his staff and everybody associated with the University of Virginia,” Restrepo said. “My time as a Cavalier was amazing, and I will always remember the 2009 NCAA Championship season as a very special time in my life. The University of Virginia and Klöckner Stadium will always be home to me, and I look forward to coming back to Charlottesville this summer to finish my degree.”

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