The UVa men's soccer team season opener is just two weeks away, when the 'Hoos host Villanova on Friday, August 25th.
The 'Hoos start the season ranked 13th in the country.
Virginia has three exhibition games, starting with Saturday's (August 12th) home game against Wright State.
"We brought in 14 new guys, some of them young guys, some of them transfers, some of them are internationals," says head coach George Gelnovatch. "I can tell you in the two days that I've seen them that it's a very talented group and I just need some time to see them in games and training and just try to bring everything together."
UVa junior forward Edward Opoku says, "We've been doing fitness all summer so we just want to test it in a game and see how everyone does so everyone gets a chance to show what they're capable of doing to the coaches and get to see our starting lineup for the year so we are all very excited for it."
Opoku ranked second on the team last year with six goals, five of them were game-winners. Opoku has been named to the Hermann Trophy Watch List. That annual award is given to the top player in college soccer.
"It adds a lot of pressure to me, myself because as a third-year now the coaches expect a lot from me", says Opoku. "I also expect a lot from myself so I'm excited as long as I keep doing my thing and play for the team."
Gelnovatch says, "I do think he has potential to have a breakout year, and I think part of that, and he knows this too, in the attacking position that he plays of scoring some goals. I think he's positioned himself maturity wise, fitness wise and everything else to be one of those guys who scores goals for us this year."
UVa coach Jeff Caldwell says about Opoku, "Last year I think you saw real flashes of brilliance in more consistent spells and I think the skies the limit for him."
Virginia's game Saturday against Wright St starts at 1pm.
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Marty Hudtloff is the Sports Director at WVIR-TV. He joined the NBC29 sports team in October of 2003. He has a degree in broadcast journalism from Bradley University. You can reach out to Marty via Email or Twitter.