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.
Sky's the Limit for UVA Pole VaulterTrack & Field, Cross Country7/20/17Jeff Jernigan, who over the course of his UVA career became one of the ACC's top pole vaulters, was commissioned in the U.S. Navy in May.Graduate Transfers Bolster Offensive LineFootball7/18/17Graduate transfers John Montelus and Brandon Pertile will compete for starting jobs on the offensive line when UVA opens training camp late this month.'Hoos Hope to Build Momentum EarlyFootball7/15/17Four of Virginia's first five football games this season will be at Scott Stadium.
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.
Men’s Soccer Announces 2017 Schedule
M. Soccer | 5/17/2017
The Cavaliers will open up the 2017 season at home when they host Villanova on Friday, Aug. 25.
Jeff White: Afamefuna Thriving in New Role
M. Soccer | 4/24/2017
An ACC All-Freshman selection as a defender last fall, Virginia's Robin Afamefuna is looking to...
Caldwell, Lowe Named to All-ACC Academic Team
M. Soccer | 2/7/2017
Caldwell, a history major, earned his second All-ACC Academic Team distinction in as many seasons...
Claudio Reyna Named to Virginia Sports Hall of Fame
M. Soccer | 1/18/2017
UVA soccer alum played for 13 years with U.S. National Team and competed in four FIFA World Cups.
Opoku Named NSCAA Second-Team All-American
M. Soccer | 12/9/2016
Opoku finished second on the team with six goals in 2016, including five game-winning scores.
Opoku and Nus Earn NSCAA All-South Region Honors
M. Soccer | 12/6/2016
Opoku was a first-team selection at forward, while Nus earned a spot on the third team at defender.
Jeff White: Soccer Teams Turn Attention to 2017
M. Soccer | 12/02/2016
Virginia's soccer teams are fixtures in their respective NCAA tournaments, and 2017 should bring ...
UVA's Season Ends in Double OT Loss at Stanford
M. Soccer | 11/27/2016
Seeded No. 12 in the tournament, the Cavaliers finish their season with an 11-4-5 record.
- Online Stores