Men’s soccer forward Geo Alves, a senior, was drafted in the third round of the 2019 Major League Soccer SuperDraft Jan. 14 by D.C. United, according to UVM athletics.
Alves now joins a small group of 14 other athletes who have gone on to sign professional contracts during or after their time at UVM.
Although Alves said that he was unsure prior to the SuperDraft whether or not he would be drafted, he is happy to be selected.
“I am very excited to be playing for D.C. United,” he said. “[I would thank] my teammates, coaches and UVM athletics.”
Head coach Rob Dow said that the dynamic of the team helped Alves reach the major league level.
“The dynamic of the team is one of just one big family,” he said. “I think that helped Geo a lot to find his place.”
Alves was born in São Filipe, Cape Verde and immigrated to the U.S. when he was 16, he said.
“When I got here, I couldn’t even say ‘hi,’ I didn’t even know what ‘hi’ was,” he said.
After playing for two seasons at Dean College in Massachusetts, Alves transferred to UVM.
In the first seven games of his career as a Catamount, he scored six goals, according to UVM athletics.
Dow said that Alves’ performance for UVM has shown his ability to perform at the major league level.
“He evolved as a player to be more and more consistent,” he said. “It’s a credit to him and his development. He has great adaptability.”
Alves is the second UVM soccer player to be taken in the SuperDraft in the last three years, according to UVM athletics.
“Whenever you put a challenge in front of him, Geo steps up,” Dow said. “He’s producing and training [hard].”
Athletic Director Jeff Schulman said he was excited for Alves.
“I just want to say how happy I am for Geo, as it reflects on how good of a player he is,” he said. “It’s a great representative of UVM and UVM soccer.”
Alves said that he hopes to still earn his degree, even though he began his career with the MLS team Jan. 20.
“I want to help kids get here, because we don’t have the people who help you get into schools in Cape Verde,” he said. “It’s really hard to get out of the country, but we have a lot of good talent.”
He said that in addition to everyone who was happy for him here at school, no one was happier than his mom and grandfather.
“I’m pretty sure she cried,” he said.
Even with that, Alves said that he wanted to be drafted for his grandfather.
“He had diabetes, so they had to amputate both of his feet, but at six-o’clock every morning he would wake me up for practice,” he said. “I wanted to do this more for him than for me.”
Alves said that he sometimes doesn’t believe that he now has the opportunity to live his dream.
“Now is when the work is going to start,” Alves said. “The first two years is crucial to become established in the league.”