CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Junior defender Henry Kessler (New York, N.Y.) signed an MLS Generation adidas contract this afternoon making him eligible for the 2020 MLS SuperDraft as an underclassman.
Generation adidas is a joint program between MLS and adidas which sees a handful of top collegiate underclassmen and youth national team players signed by MLS to Generation adidas contracts and made available in the SuperDraft. More information on Generation adidas is available here.
The 2020 MLS SuperDraft is scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 9 (Rounds 1 & 2) and Monday, Jan. 13 (Rounds 3 & 4). The 2020 SuperDraft presented by adidas will stream live on the ESPN App, Twitter, YouTube and Facebook.
Kessler, a United Soccer Coaches First Team All-American, played every minute in 2020 as the Cavalier center back. The Virginia defense surrendered just 13 goals in 24 games and held a 0.53 goals against average, second-lowest in the country. Kessler and the Cavaliers produced an NCAA-best 15 shutouts led the nation with 21 wins.
The Cavaliers postseason included the program’s 11th ACC Tournament Championship and Virginia’s 13th College Cup appearance. Virginia played Georgetown to a 3-3 draw in the National Championship game before falling 7-6 in penalty kicks. Kessler was named the MVP of the ACC Tournament and listed on the NCAA College Cup All-Tournament team.
Great defensive effort here by Henry Kessler to squash a Pitt threat in the 35th minute
— Virginia Men’s Soccer (@UVAMenSoccer) October 18, 2019
For his defensive prowess, Kessler was one of 15 semifinalists for the MAC Hermann Trophy, annually bestowed on collegiate soccer’s top collegiate player. He was included on the first team of the TopDrawerSoccer.com Best XI squad. Kessler is a two-time United Soccer Coaches All-Region (2018 – Second Team & 2019 – First Team) and a two-time All-ACC selection (2018 – Third Team & 2019 – Second Team).
Henry Kessler was named the 2019 ACC Tournament Most Valuable Player!
— Virginia Men’s Soccer (@UVAMenSoccer) November 17, 2019
From his defensive position, Kessler was credited with one goal during his three-year Cavalier career. The tally came against then-No. 2 Duke and leveled the match at one in an eventual 3-1 Virginia victory.
GOOOOAAALLL!! Henry Kessler levels the match with his first career tally!
— Virginia Men’s Soccer (@UVAMenSoccer) September 13, 2019
Kessler is the second Cavalier in the last three seasons to sign a Generation adidas contract after Edward Opoku left early in 2017.