CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Head coach George Gelnovatch finalized a recruiting class of 13 that will join the 2020 Virginia men’s soccer team. A total of eight true freshmen, three transfers and two graduate transfer comprise the signing class.
“This class gives us an immediate injection of experience and leadership and sprinkles in some really good young talent,” Gelnovatch said. “We were presented with a big challenge back in January after a good number of our veterans moved on to the professional ranks and/or graduated. I think there is a nice blend of transfers with familiarity with this level of soccer as well as a good number of international guys that can help us right away.”
Last season, Virginia put together a campaign that sported an overall record of 21-2-1 and culminated with the program’s 13th College Cup appearance. The Cavaliers took home the ACC Regular Season Championship, ACC Tournament Championship and reached the National Championship game for the third time in the last 11 years. Virginia lost four underclassman starters from last year’s squad to the professional ranks – Daryl Dike (Orlando City SC), Henry Kessler (New England Revolution), Joe Bell (Viking FK) and Daniel Steedman (Atlanta United 2).
“Our team last year was arguably one of the best in UVA history and there is no better compliment to a to the quality of a program when you see guys achieve their dream of playing soccer professionally. I’m proud of how we have prepared guys for that dream and am even more excited to get to work with this corps of newcomers.”
Freshmen (8): Leo Afonso (Boynton Beach, Fla.), Julian Aguilar (Guatemala City, Guatemala), Jules Anderson (Ocean, N.J.), Holden Brown (Zionsville, Ind.), Rafael Caipo (Lima, Peru), Kaya Ignacio (Georgetown, Texas), Chris Scheipe (Duluth, Ga.), William Shuchart (St. Petersburg, Fla.)
Transfers (3): Oliver Gerbig (Taipei, Taiwan), Alex Rando (New York, N.Y.), Kevin Ogudugu (Oslo, Norway)
Graduate Transfers (2): Louis Evans (Canterbury, New Zealand), Joan Gilbert (Barcelona, Spain)
Signing Class Notes (Alphabetical)
F – Leo Afonso (Boynton Beach, Fla.)
- Played club soccer for Boca United (2016-18), Philadelphia Union (2018-19) and Inter Miami (2019-20)
- Attended Somerset Academy (two years) before YSC Academy (one year) graduating from Olympic Heights in 2020. YSC Academy, affiliated with the Philadelphia Union, includes world-class soccer training with a rigorous college preparatory program
- As a member of Boca United in 2017-18, scored 25 goals, third most in the country
M – Julian Aguilar (Guatemala City, Guatemala)
- Played club soccer for Achik’ Club de Futbol (2016-20) and served as the team’s captain for three seasons
- Was the team’s leader in assists and helped lead the club to the Quarterfinals of the Guatemalan National Third Division League
- Attended the American School of Guatemala
- Named to the Association of American Schools of Central America (AASCA) Tournament All-Star Team
- Served as the team captain for the American School of Guatemala from 2018-20
- Brother of former UVA National Champion, Pablo Aguilar
M – Jules Anderson (Ocean, N.J.)
- No. 61 on TopDrawerSoccer.com Top 150 Club Soccer Player
- Played club soccer for Philadelphia Union (2016-19) and Rangers FC (2019-20)
- Attended YSC Academy in Wayne, Pa.
GK – Holden Brown (Zionsville, Ind.)
- No. 87 on TopDrawerSoccer.com Top 150 Club Soccer Player Rankings
- Played soccer for Zionsville Youth Academy for five years before joining Indiana Fire Development Academy
- Signed with Indy 11 (USL) prior to the 2019 season
- For Zionsville High School, made 68 saves and tallied 17 shutouts in 31 career varsity appearances
- Earned First Team All-State honors his sophomore year of high school
- After signing with the Indiana Fire Academy in 2018, started eight of his 12 appearances for the Academy’s Under-18/19 squad.
M/D – Rafael Caipo (Lima, Peru)
- Attended Franklin Delano Roosevelt (The American School of Lima)
- Played his formative football through Sporting Cristal
- Played for the Peruvian National Team at the U-15 and U-17 levels.
- Was elected captain of the Peruvian U-17 National Team
D – Louis Evans (Canterbury, New Zealand)
- Played four seasons at Davidson College (2016-19), suffered a season-ending injury two games into his junior season (2018).
- Appeared in 28 career games for the Wildcats, while making 26 starts
- As a junior in 2017, started a career-best 12 of 13 games, helped the Wildcats to five shutouts and scored his lone collegiate goal, a game-winner against Winthrop on Sept. 9, 2017.
- Saw action in all 90 minutes in a 2-1, last-second Davidson loss against Virginia at Klöckner Stadium on Sept. 25, 2017.
- His final season (2019) with the Wildcats, he started 10 of 11 matches and helped the Davidson defense to a pair of clean sheets.
- Attended Christchurch Boys’ High School (2011-15) and Scot’s College (2015-16) in New Zealand. Scot’s College is also produced UVA All-American Joe Bell.
D – Oliver Gerbig (Taipei, Taiwan)
- Two-year starter at Coastal Carolina, appearing in 35 matches for the Chanticleers
- Saw action in all 21 games (20 starts) as a sophomore in 2019, logged 1,965 minutes including every minute of 19 of the 21 matches
- In 2019, Coastal Carolina defeated NC State before falling to SMU in overtime in the Second Round of the NCAA Tournament. SMU eventually was eliminated by the Virginia in the NCAA Quarterfinals
- Selected to play for Hong Kong in the AFC U-23 Qualifiers in the spring of 2019
- Member of the Hong Kong U-20 National Team
M – Joan Gilbert (Barcelona, Spain)
- Played club soccer for Valencia Academy (2014-16), UE Cornella (2016-17), UE Castelldefels (2017-18) and most recently with Santfeliuenc (2018-2020)
F/M – Kaya Ignacio (Georgetown, Texas)
- No. 127 on TopDrawerSoccer.com Top 150 Club Soccer Player Rankings
- Played club soccer for Lonestar SC (2014-18) before joining Houston Dynamo Academy (2018-20). Served as captain for both clubs
- A member of the U-15 U.S. Boys National Team
- Named the 2018-19 Houston Dynamo Academy Player of the Year
- While at Georgetown, ran track/field & cross country. Was a District Champion, Regional Qualifier, State Qualifier in the 800m, 1600m & 4×100 relay. Was named the 2017 Freshman of the Year.
F/M – Kevin Ogudugu (Oslo, Norway)
- Played his freshman season at the University of Portland
- Appeared in nine games and made three starts during the 2019 season
- Credited with one goal on the year, a tally in the 76th minute of a 2-0 win over Santa Clara
- Played club soccer for Valerenga IF (2017-2019)
- Played for Valerenga 2, who is in the third division in Norway. Rostered with the first team for top division games.
- Has been called up to the Nigerian U20 National Team Camp
GK – Alex Rando (New York, N.Y.)
- Transferred from Stanford University and did not see action his first year on campus
- Attended The Beacon School (2015-19) in Manhattan
- Played club soccer for NYCFC (2015-19)
- Was a two-time U-19 U.S Development Academy National Champion with NYCFC
- Named the 2019 U-19 Golden Glove Winner
- A member of the 2017 Generation Adidas Cup Championship Team
M/D – Chris Scheipe (Duluth, Ga.)
- No. 147 on TopDrawerSoccer.com Top 150 Club Soccer Player Rankings
- Played club soccer for Concorde Fire (2013-16) and the United Futbol Academy (2017-20)
- Served as the team captain for the UFA Development Academy U-16/17 and U18/19 teams, a span of three years
- Earned All-Region honors as a freshman at Greater Atlanta Christian School
F – William Shuchart (St. Petersburg, Fla.)
- Played club soccer for Chargers SC Academy (2014-19)