Sept. 17, 2013
Todd Wharton has stepped into the role of a team leader in 2013. The sophomore midfielder from Richmond, Va., was an ACC All-Freshman Team honoree in 2012. Coming off a national championship over the summer with his RVA FC club team, Wharton has even higher expectations for 2013 and has worn the captain's armband in several games already. He took time after the Cavaliers' Monday morning training session to talk with VirginiaSports.com.
Over the summer, you played for RVA FC and your team won the national championship. How has that helped you prepare for the collegiate season?
Wharton: It was good. It was right after the spring season. We actually started the day after school ended. It was really good for keeping in shape and staying sharp throughout the offseason so I could be ready for the fall.
This year you have been the captain in a few games. What has that been like?
Wharton: It has been great. The coaches talked to me earlier in the year and they wanted me to be more of a leader and to be more vocal on the team. Being a captain is a great honor and privilege and I think that we will be good this year.
What are your expectations for your team this season?
Wharton: We have started 1-3, but I think we have played really well in those four games. We just need to make some slight adjustments and be a little sharper throughout the game. But overall, I think we have a chance to make a good run in the playoffs.
Your team has started with a really tough schedule, and every team has been ranked. How will playing these tough teams in the beginning prepare you for the end of the season and postseason?
This year's team is young. How is the chemistry between all the players this season?
Wharton: It is very similar to last year because we started slow because of the tough competition, but I think it really helped us at the end of the season. We were used to the good competition because we were playing them every game. At the end of the year we were really used to it and it helped us out a lot.
I think they are fitting in really well. It's still early and we have some things to work out, but overall the guys have fit in really nicely.
Where do you look to improve as a player this season?
Wharton: I want to improve as a leader for one. Also, I want to be more effective on the field. I want to try to be more of a playmaker not just a role player and try to make more things happen.