PHILADELPHIA, Pa. – VCU Men's Soccer senior Rafael Andrade Santos will keep his professional talents local, as he was selected with the 74th overall pick, the 5th pick of the 4th round, by D.C. United in the 2018 MLS SuperDraft supplemental rounds Sunday afternoon.
Santos is now the fourth VCU Ram in a row to be selected in a SuperDraft, and sixth in the last six years. He joins Dakota Barnathan (Sporting KC, 2017), Dennis Castillo (Colorado Rapids, 2017), Kharlton Belmar (Portland Timbers, 2015), Jason Johnson (Houston Dynamo, 2013), and Juan Arbelaez (Montreal Impact, 2013) as the Rams recent draft picks.
"I'm excited for Rafa as he begins his journey at the next level," said VCU Men's Soccer Head Coach Dave Giffard. "DC United is in an exciting time as a club as they open a new stadium this year and at the moment, they have some international roster space available so it's an opportunity to go into preseason and fight for a job."
The native of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil flourished in his time at VCU. He has cleaned up on awards this season, earning recognition from all major publications and organizations. Most notably, he earned All-American selections from United Soccer Coaches, Top Drawer Soccer, and College Soccer News. He was also named the sixth best player in the country by Top Drawer Soccer just a few short weeks ago.
The 2017 Atlantic 10 Conference Offensive Player of the Year, Santos led the league with 12 goals and 29 points. He provided VCU with five of its 12 game-winning goals in 2017. He has also earned USC All-Region and First Team All-Atlantic 10 honors this season as well. His skills at the midfield over the past four years have earned him Atlantic 10 honors every year. He was named to the Atlantic 10 All-Rookie Team in 2014, Second Team in 2015, and finally First Team in 2016. Santos also earned NSCAA Third Team All-Region honors in 2016 as well.
Santos finished his career at VCU with 20 goals and nine assists for a total of 49 points. He was apart of three straight appearances in the Atlantic 10 Championship game, multiple ranked teams, and a bid into the NCAA Tournament in 2017 as the 16th overall seed in the tournament. His career highlight game came in a 3-0 win at #9 ranked Maryland this season, where he scored two goals and added an assist in the match.