As Virginia men’s soccer looks to open up the 2017 season with three exhibition games, all eyes will be on junior forward Edward Opoku, who was named to the 2017 MAC Hermann Trophy Watch List, as was announced by the United Soccer Coaches (formerly the NSCAA) and the Missouri Athletic Club on Tuesday. The Hermann Trophy is awarded to the nation’s top soccer player each year.
Despite having missed two matches last September with ankle injury, Opoku was named a second-team All American by the NSCAA, and a first-team All-Region. He’s two-for-two on making the All-ACC team, and he’ll be looking to make the All-American first team this year as a junior.
With five last year, Opoku was ranked 13th in the country nationally in game-winning goals, having scored the game winners against Coastal Carolina, VCU, Hofstra, Notre Dame and William & Mary.
Virginia has had six Hermann Trophy Award winners in its history -- five on the men’s side and one on the women’s side. (Prior to 2002, there was a separate MAC Player of the Year Award and a Hermann Trophy Award, the two of which are recognized as national top honors.) On the women’s side, Morgan Brian won it in back-to-back years in 2013 and 2014, only the fourth woman to do so. On the men’s side, Virginia boasts Alecko Eskandarian (2002), Mike Fisher (1995, 1996), Claudio Reyna (1992), Tony Meola (1989), and John Harks (1987 as MAC Player of the Year).
The full watch lists can be found here.
Virginia, preseason ranked No. 13, has three exhibition games over the coming week: Wright State (8/12), Old Dominion (8/15), and Georgetown (8/19). The first two will be in Charlottesville, while the Georgetown game will be played in DC.