CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — Virginia’s senior captain, Leo Afonso, has been named was named to the ACC Preseason watch list, the league announced Wednesday (Aug. 16). Afonso was also listed among forwards on the United Soccer Coaches Players to Watch List.

Afonso returns for his fourth year in Charlottesville following another impressive season in 2022. The Virginia captain led the team in both points and goals for the second consecutive season recording 18 points and eight goals. Afonso was also tied for the team lead in assists with his total of four.

A crucial piece of the Cavaliers’ success last season, Virginia went 6-0-1 when Afonso found the back of the net and 9-0-1 when he tallied a goal or an assist. In 2022, Afonso recorded first-team All-ACC honors for the first time in his career.

Cavaliers Picked to Finish Third in Coastal
The Atlantic Coast Conference also released its preseason poll in which Virginia was picked to finish third in the Coastal Division. The results were determined by a vote of the league’s coaches. Coaches could not vote for their own team in the process.

The Cavaliers rank No. 15 in the United Soccer Coaches preseason poll. Virginia opens its season at home as they welcome Iona to Klöckner Stadium on Thursday, Aug. 24. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. Tickets are on sale now at

2023 ACC Men’s Soccer Preseason Poll
Parentheses indicate first-place votes

Overall Champion:
Clemson, 6 votes
Wake Forest, 2
Duke, 1
Virginia, 1
Syracuse, 1

Atlantic Division
Clemson (5), 58
Wake Forest (3), 56
Syracuse (4), 53
Louisville, 34
Boston College, 23
NC State, 22

Coastal Division
Pitt (5), 56
Duke (3), 51
Virginia (3), 50
North Carolina (1), 39
Notre Dame, 28
Virginia Tech, 22

2023 ACC Preseason Watch List
Augustine Boadi, So., M, Boston College
Ousmane Sylla, Sr., M, Clemson
Nick Pariano, Sr., M, Duke
Sander Roed, Jr., M, Louisville
Sam Williams, So., M, North Carolina
Will Buete, Jr., M, NC State
Paddy Burns, Sr., D, Notre Dame
Filip Mirkovic, Sr., M, Pitt
Giona Leibold, Jr., M, Syracuse
Leo Afonso, Sr., F, Virginia
Connor Jordan-Hyde, R-Sr., GK, Virginia Tech
Hosei Kijima, Sr., M, Wake Forest