Thursday, June 8, 2017

University of Virginia Greatest All-Time Soccer Team

Please also see my All-Time World Cup Team Index.

This is my selection of a 25 member all-time team for the club.  The number 25 was chosen because it is the official squad size for the Champions' League.

The University of Virginia (U.Va. or UVA) was founded in 1819 by Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson considered the school as one of his greatest achievements.  UVA is one of the best institutions of higher learning in the United States.  It is known for its historic foundations, student-run honor code, and secret societies. UNESCO also designated UVA as America's first and only collegiate World Heritage Site in 1987.  
2014 NCAA Champion

Virginia Cavaliers men's soccer is among the best program in the United States.  Its notable alumni included Claudio Reyna, John Harkes and Tony Meola.  Bruce Arena, perhaps one of the greatest soccer coaches in the US, coached there many years, winning 5 NCAA titles within 6 years.  Three UVA's players were honored by Soccer America Magazine by being named on its College Team of the Century. 
Coach Bruce Arena won 5 NCAA titles in 6 years.

GK: Tony Meola (USA)
Meola was one of greatest American goalkeeper in history. He made his debut with USMNT in 1988 as 19 years old.  He was the starting keep at Italia 1990 as 21 years old. He went to play in the 1994, and 2002 World Cups.  He earned over 100 caps, but most of them were played when he was a full-time member of the national team.  He would have earned more caps if he did not play in the same generation as Kasey Keller and Brad Friedel.  His professional career did not start until 1996 when he was allotted to NY/NY Metrostars.  He also played with KC Wizards.
Tony Meola
GK: Jeff Causey (USA)
Causey attended the University of Virginia where he played on the men’s soccer team from 1990 to 1993. He was a member of the Cavaliers teams which won the 1991, 1992, and 1993 NCAA Championships, taking Tournament Defensive MVP in 1991. He was a part of DC United's team that won the Double in 1996.  He also played played with New England Revolution.

GK: Bob Willen (USA)
Willen spent 1984 to 1987 playing soccer with University of Virginia.   He was named 1987 ISAA Goalkeeper of the Year. He also earned First Team NSCAA All-America honors in 1987, a First Team All-Atlantic Coast Conference selection in 1986 and earned Second Team All-ACC honors in 1987.

SW/RB: Matt Chulis (USA)
He was the captain of the U.S. U-20 national team at the 1997 FIFA World Youth Championship. He later played two seasons in Major League Soccer, three seasons in the USL A-League and two in the USL Second Division.

RB/FW: Chris Albright (USA)
Albright played college soccer at the University of Virginia for two years; he was named an All-American in 1999. he was drafted by DC United, but his successes started with LA Galaxy when they converted him into a rightback, where he was into MLS Best XI and won two MLS Cups.  He also played with NY Red Bulls, New England Revolution and Philadelphia Union.  Capped 22 times.  He was an unused sub at the 2006 WC Finals.
Chris Albright
RB/CB: Scott Vermillion (USA)
From Olathe, Kansas, Vermillion played college soccer with University of Virginia.  He also played for the Kansas City Wizards in 1998 and Colorado Rapids from 1998 to 2001.

CB: Bakary Soumaré (USA/Mali)
Soumaré played for Chicago Fire from 2007 to 2009, and headed to Europe playing for US Boulogne and Karlsruher SC. Later, he played for Philadelphia Union, Montreal Impact and FC Dallas. Born in Mali, but moved first to France and then, the United States, he decided to represent Mali. He earned 12 caps.

DF: George Gelnovatch (USA)
He attended the University of Virginia, playing on the men's soccer team from 1983 to 1986. He was a 1986 First Team All American.  After college soccer, he played indoor soccer and American Soccer League.  In 1996, he played some games for DC United.  He is currently the head coach at UVA.

CB: Clint Peay (USA)
During Peay’s four seasons at UVA, the Cavaliers won the NCAA championship four consecutive years.  He joined DC United in 1996, where his team won the Double that year.

CB/DM: Erik Imler (USA)
Imler played college soccer with Virginia. He played one season with DC United during MLS's Inaugural season in 1996.  He had a brief stint NE Revolution.

LB: Brandon Pollard (USA)
While at Virginia, he was a member of the 1992, 1993, and 1994 NCAA championship teams. In 1996, the Dallas Burn selected Pollard in the first round (third overall) of the 1996 MLS College Draft. He played with them until 2000 when a serious injury ended his career,

LB: Jeff Agoos (USA)
Agoos played college soccer with Virginia. He joined DC united in 1996.  He won 5 MLS Cup titles, a record.  He was named the Best XI All-time MLS team in 2005.  He earned 137 caps for the USA, starting in 1988.  However,  he did not play his WC games until the 2002 WC Finals.

Claudio Reyna was a star in the late 1990's.  He played college soccer with Virginia, winning three NCAA titles.  He started his career with Bayer Leverkusen.  While playing with Wolfsburg, he became the first American-born player to captain an European club team. He also played for Rangers and Manchester City.  He earned 112 caps.  He was on 4 World Cup teams.  In 2002,  he was named in the World Cup all-tournament team. 
Claudio Reyna
CM/DM: Richie Williams (USA)

Williams graduated from University of Virgina, where he played NCAA soccer.  He played in the US and Scotland before the launch of MLS in 1996.  He became the unsung hero of DC United's dominance in the US during the late 1990's.  He also played for NY Metrostars.  He was capped 20 times.

CM/RM: John Harkes  (USA)
At one point, he was considered the"Captain for life".  He had a great career in England when only a few Americans found successes overseas.  While playing for Derby, he scored the 1991 Goal of the Year in England. He was a part of the great DC United team in the mid-1990's.  He played college soccer with Virginia.

CM: Tony Tchani (USA/Cameroon)
With Virginia, he won a NCAA title before playing in the MLS with NY Red Bulls, Toronto FC, Colombus Crew and now, Vancouver Whitecaps.  Tchani played one friendly match for USMNT in 2016 before switching to Cameroon less than 2 months later, where he was born. 

CM: Kyle Martino (USA)
Martino was named ACC Player of the Year until he was with UVA.  In 2002, he joined Colombus Crew, winning Rookie of the Year that year.  He played there until 2006 when he moved to LA Galaxy. He retired in 2008 due to a serious injury. Capped 8 times.

RM/CM: Ben Olsen (USA)
Olsen played for the University of Virginia, when he was named 1997 Soccer America Player of the Year.  He spent the vast majority of his professional career with D.C. United.  During that time he won two MLS Cup titles, two MLS Supporters' Shields and one U.S. Open Cup winners medal. His individual honors include two-time MLS All-Star, 1998 MLS Rookie of the Year, MLS Cup '99 MVP and 2007 MLS Best XI. He had a successful loan spell with Nottingham Forest, but a serious injury derailed his career in Europe.  Earned 37 caps.  He went to the WC Finals in 2006.
Ben Olsen
CM: Mike Fisher (USA)
Fisher attended UVa from 1993 to 1996.  He finished his career as the school’s career points leader with 167 on 56 goals and 55 assists. This made him only the third collegiate player to amass both 50 career goals and 50 career assists. His senior year, he led the NCAA in assists, with 20. He won the Hermann Trophy as the outstanding collegiate player in both 1995 and 1996, becoming only the fourth player since 1965 to win the trophy twice. However, he gave up soccer after representing the USA at the 1996 Olympics.  He became a medical doctor.  In 2000, Fisher was honored by Soccer America Magazine by being named on its College Team of the Century.

CM: Jason Moore (USA)
Moore attended the University of Virginia where he played two seasons on the men’s soccer team. In 1999, he turned professional playing in the MLS. He spent 4 years playing for DC United, Colorado Rapids, Chicago Fire and New England Revolution.

AM/CM: Damian Silvera (USA)
Silvera attended the University of Virginia where he was part of three NCAA championship teams and graduated as Virginia’s all-time leader in assists.  In 1996, he was allotted to NY/NJ Metrostars during MLS inaugural season.  He also played for KC Wizards.

FW: Adam Cristman (USA)
Cristman was selected in the fourth round of the 2007 MLS SuperDraft by New England Revolution. After the 2008 season, Cristman was traded to Kansas City Wizards. In February 2010, D.C. United acquired Cristman from Kansas City in exchange for use of an international roster slot through December 31, 2011.  He also played for LA Galaxy. 
Adam Cristman
FW: Jeff Gaffney (USA)
Gaffney played for Virginia from 1982 to 1985.  He is the all-time leading scorer for his college team.  He is the only player with his jersey retired at UVA.  He was a First Team NCAA All-American in 1984 and selected First Team All-ACC in 1984 and 1985.

FW: AJ Wood (USA)
Wood attended UVA where the Cavaliers won the NCAA championship each of the four years Wood played. He also holds the NCAA tournament record of 13 goals.  He joined the MetroStars in the 1996 MLS Inaugural season. He also played for Chicago Fire and D.C. United. Wood remained with United from the 1998 season through the 2001 season. 

FW: Alecko Eskandarian (USA)
Eskandarian attended University of Virginia where he won the Hermann Trophy in 2002.  In 2003, he entered MLS with DC United, where he played 4 years.  He would also play for Real Salt Lake City, Chivas USA and LA Galaxy. He earned a single cap with USMNT.  His father is Andranik Eskandarian, who played for the New York Cosmos with Pele, and the Iranian national football team.
Alecko Eskandarian 
Honorable Mention
Matt Oliver, Yuri Sagatov, José Bauza, Nico Colaluca, Ross LaBauex, Ben Crawley, Hunter Jumper, Curt Onalfo, Diego Restrepo.
Squad Explanation
-- I attended University of Virginia.  I always wanted to do an all-time team for UVA.
-- Damian Silvera was brilliant while in college.  
-- Chris Albright was a forward with UVA, but converted to rightabck as a professional player.

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