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Caldwell, Opoku Selected in MLS SuperDraft

Jan. 19, 2018

PHILADELPHIA, Pa. – Former Virginia goalkeeper Jeff Caldwell (Todd, N.C.) was selected in the first round (19th overall) of the 2018 MLS SuperDraft by New York City FC and forward Edward Opoku (Millbrook, N.Y.) was taken in the second round (32nd overall) by Columbus Crew SC.

Virginia had multiple selections in the SuperDraft for the first time since Tony Tchani and Ross LaBauex were selected in the first and second rounds respectively in the 2010 SuperDraft. Caldwell is the first Cavalier to be taken in the first round since Tchani was taken second overall in the 2010.

Coming into this year’s SuperDraft, Virginia ranked fifth among NCAA Schools with 40 all-time draft selections. The last Cavalier to be taken in an MLS SuperDraft was Eric Bird in 2014. Bird was recently signed by the Houston Dynamo.

Caldwell became the first Virginia goalkeeper ever to earn All-ACC honors three times after being listed on the Second Team in 2017. He graduated as one of the top goalkeepers in program history ranking in the top-10 in nearly every career statistical category including third all-time in shutouts (23) and games played (61). Caldwell posted a 0.80 goals against average which was the third lowest in the ACC.

Caldwell will join former Cavalier, Claudio Reyna, who currently serves as the New York City FC’s Sporting Director. Reyna won the MAC Hermann Trophy as college soccer’s top player in 1993 and three national championships at Virginia from 1991-93.



Opoku will join a quartet of current Crew members, Mohammed Abu, Lalas Abubaker, Harrison Afful, and Jonathan Mensah that all hail from Ghana. Opoku was one of seven Division I college soccer players to sign Generation Adidas contract earlier this month. He was Virginia’s leading scorer in 2017, tallying eight goals and adding four assists.

The third and fourth rounds of the MLS Draft will take place on Sunday (Jan. 21) at 2 p.m.


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Jeff White

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A 1985 graduate of UVA, White worked at the Richmond Times-Dispatch until July 2009. He was honored six times as the state's Sportswriter of the Year.

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