RICHMOND, VA—Three seems to be the magic number for the Virginia Commonwealth men's soccer team.
Three returning players were selected to the Atlantic 10 Preseason All-Conference team, while three newcomers were picked for the A-10's All-Rookie squad. As a team, the Rams were tabbed by the voters to finish third in the conference.
Atop the poll is Saint Louis, followed by George Mason, giving both teams from last season's A-10 championship game the top-two spots. VCU, however, ended up just four points behind George Mason.
The Rams will play both Saint Louis and George Mason this season in Richmond at Sports Backers Field. The Patriots will come to town on October 4 and the Billikens will make their visit on November 7, the Rams' last game of the regular season and VCU's third annual soccer family weekend.
Nationally, VCU is the highest ranked team from the A-10 by both the NSCAA Coaches' poll and by College Soccer News.
Individually, Dennis Castillo, Devon Fisher, and Kharlton Belmar were all voted on to the preseason All-Conference team. The three newcomers to make the All-Rookie team were: Rafael Andrade Santos, Pierre Gardan, and Jorge Herranz.
Castillo, Fisher, and Belmar all had a successful, well-documented summer, and Castillo was voted as a preseason All-American last week, so to be voted to the preseason All-Conference team is yet another recognition for the talented trio.
After defeating William & Mary in an exhibition game this past weekend, VCU will open up its regular season against Farleigh Dickinson this Friday, August 29 as a part of the VCU Invitational. The Rams will also play East Tennessee State this Sunday, August 31.
2014 Atlantic-10 Preseason Poll
Saint Louis 164 (10)
George Mason 151 (2)
VCU 147 (1)
La Salle 93
George Washington 58
Saint Joseph's 53
Rhode Island 39
St. Bonaventure 34