Freshman forward Ahkeel Rodney recently checked in with VirginiaSports.com to preview the team's upcoming tournament in Portland, Ore., and to recap the three preseason exhibitions. Rodney, a native of Elmont, N.Y., and the men's soccer team kick off the regular-season on Friday at 10 p.m. ET vs. Portland.
Question: What has been the most surprising in the transition from preseason training to these first three exhibition games?
Rodney: Definitely the speed of play. I was used to my old high school teammates so I would know, for instance, where they would turn and where they would go with the ball. Now, seeing new players and seeing new faces, we just have to work on getting better as a team and moving forward.
Question: What do you think has best prepared you for playing at Virginia?
Rodney: The high levels of soccer that I played over the last few years. I played back home with a really good developmental team and I also had some experience with the national team, so that was definitely helpful.
Question: Do you have any specific goals for yourself this season?
Rodney: I just want to win a national championship as a team. If I am coming off the bench and playing 10 minutes, or if I score goals for the team or make assists, it doesn't matter. I just want to win a national championship.
Question: How did it feel to score your first goal in the exhibition game at Old Dominion?
Rodney: It definitely felt good. And it felt good as a team. Having all of my teammates cheer me on was a great experience.
Question: What do you think the team has learned from these first three exhibition games?
Rodney: We have to play as a team more, focus on the little things and just work hard because we got beaten to 50-50 balls, and made other mistakes that we shouldn't. So we have to work hard because we definitely have a good team. In every game we have played so far, we dominated, so we have to get it together and go forward as the best.
Question: Why did you choose UVa?
Rodney: It is a great place to be. The school is beautiful, Klöckner Stadium is beautiful, the facilities are beautiful. And then this team; I think this team is the best team I have ever been a part of, plus the coaches are really cool. Just everything about this place is great.
Question: Being at UVa and being so busy, do you miss anything from home?
Rodney: I miss my parents, and definitely my friends and people I am close to - I miss my brother.
Prime Opportunity Eludes CavaliersWomen's Basketball2/18/18Virginia, which lost Sunday to ACC rival Miami at John Paul Jones Arena, has two regular-season games remaining, both on the road.Jackson Comfortable in Leading RoleWomen's Lacrosse2/16/18As a sophomore last season, Maggie Jackson led the Cavaliers in points, ground balls and draw controls and tied for the lead in assists.Eikhoff Eager to Assume Larger RoleBaseball2/15/18No. 15 Virginia, which opens the season Friday against No. 22 Central Florida, is counting on production from junior infield Nate Eikhoff.
Director of News Content
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.
Ryan Hopkins Hired as Assistant Men's Soccer Coach
M. Soccer | 2/14/2018
Ryan Hopkins has been hired as an assistant coach for the Virginia men's soccer program, as...
Virginia Will Be Part of U.S. Soccer Spring Program
M. Soccer | 2/8/2018
Seven-time national champion, Virginia will compete in the first-ever U.S. Soccer Spring Program,...
Caldwell, Opoku Selected in MLS SuperDraft
M. Soccer | 1/19/2018
Jeff Caldwell was selected in the first round by New York City FC and Edward Opoku was taken in...
Aguilar, Sullivan Selected in Third Round of SuperDraft
M. Soccer | 1/21/2018
The Houston Dynamo took both Pablo Aguilar and Sheldon Sullivan in the third round of the MLS...
Four Cavaliers Named to ACC All-Academic Team
M. Soccer | 2/1/2018
Goalkeeper Jeff Caldwell, honored for the third time in his career, was one of four Cavaliers...
Opoku Signs Generation Adidas Contract
M. Soccer | 1/11/2018
Virginia junior Edward Opoku signed a Generation adidas contract offer from Major League Soccer (...
Boss to Depart UVA, Named Oregon State Head Coach
M. Soccer | 12/28/2017
Associate Head Coach Terry Boss has been named the Head Men’s Soccer Coach at Oregon State ...
Aguilar, Caldwell Receive MLS Combine Invites
M. Soccer | 12/22/2017
Pablo Aguilar and Jeff Caldwell were among 60 College players invited to participate at the 2018 ...
- Online Stores