FORMER MEN'S SOCCER STANDOUTS PLAYING IN THE PROS

RICHMOND, Va. – VCU Men's Soccer has established itself as a pipeline to the professional ranks in the last decade. Several Rams men's soccer alumni have continued to the next level to play professionally both near and far. Currently, 14 former Rams are playing in various professional leagues around the world.  

Here's a look at where they are now:  

Major League Soccer, United States

Siad Haji  (Photo Courtesy: ISI Photos)

Siad Haji (2017-2018), San Jose Earthquakes – Siad Haji was recently drafted in the 2019 MLS SuperDraft by the San Jose Earthquakes with the second overall pick. Haji was the highest ever draft pick from VCU in any sport and tied for the highest pick in any sport from the Atlantic 10. Haji has made an immediate mark in the MLS, seeing time on the pitch in four matches. He has made 11 appearances in the 18-man squad during the short time he has been with the club.

Liga FPD, Costa Rica

Dennis Castillo

Dennis Castillo (2012-2015), Perez Zeledon – Dennis Castillo is currently training with Perez Zeledon in Liga FPD, the top division in Costa Rica. The squad recently began play for this season with Castillo starting in four of the five matches early this season. During the 2018 season, the defender scored four goals in his 45 appearances for the club. 

USL Championship, United States/Canada

Jason Johnson

Jason Johnson (2010-2012), Phoenix Rising – Jason Johnson has been playing professionally for several years and is currently playing for Western Conference leading, Phoenix Rising of the USL Championship. Johnson is currently sidelined with injury, but scored three goals and dished out an assist in eight games before being injured. He finished last season with nine goals and two assists, including two USL Playoff goals and a start in the USL Cup Championship match.

Dakota Barnathan  (Photo Courtesy: Steve Kingman | Freestyle Ottawa)

Dakota Barnathan (2012-2016), Ottawa Fury – Dakota Barnathan has been a mainstay on the Ottawa Fury's back line this season, appearing in 19 games with 18 starts. Barnathan has been crucial to keeping Ottawa in the USL Championship's Eastern Conference playoff race with 70 clearances and 17 interceptions. He has also helped generate offense for the Fury with two assists and five key passes.

Dominic Oduro

Dominic Oduro (2004-2005), Charlotte Independence – Dominic Oduro has been playing professionally for more than a decade, spending 13 years playing with various MLS clubs. The forward is currently playing for the USL Championship's Charlotte Independence. Halfway through the season, he is leading the offensive charge for the Independence with a team-high seven goals. He has also dished out two assists and 14 key passes in his 23 appearances, keeping Charlotte in the hunt for a spot in the playoffs.

Kharlton Belmar

Kharlton Belmar (2011-2014), Nashville SC – Kharlton Belmar has made a name for himself in the USL championship. He is currently playing for Nashville SC where he has made 23 appearances and earned 16 starts. He has helped the boys in gold offensively with a goal, two assists and 14 key passes. Last season, Belmar was a standout in the league for Swope Park Rangers, scoring 14 goals in 24 appearances.

Segunda Division B, Spain

Jose Manel Martinez Bel

Jose Manel Martinez Bel (2012-2014), Marbella FC – Jose Manuel Martinez Bel signed a new contract with Marbella FC in Spain's second division on July 1. Prior to signing with Marbella FC, Martinez Bel had an impressive stretch with Real Murcia. While with Real Murcia, he made 34 appearances and scored seven goals.  

USL League One, United States/Canada 

Rafael Andrade Santos (2015-2017), Orlando City B – Rafael Andrade Santos has been impressive in the USL League One's inaugural season. The midfielder has made nine starts and appeared in 11 games for Orlando City B and has scored two goals. His second goal of the season, a beautiful strike from more than 18 yards out, was named the June USL League One Goal of the Month.

Greg Boehme  (Photo Courtesy: Jessica Stone Hendricks Photography)

Greg Boehme (2013-2017), Richmond Kickers – Greg Boehme is in his second season with the Richmond Kickers. Boehme has made four appearances with three starts for the club in the young 2019 season. Last season, he appeared in 16 matches for the Kickers.

Brandon Eaton

Brandon Eaton (2014-2016), Forward Madison – Despite an injury early in his career, Brandon Eaton has persevered and found a home in professional soccer. He has been a mainstay for Forward Madison in the midfield this season. He has appeared in eight games with five starts. Eaton is distributing the ball well with two assists, six key passes and a 76.1% pass completion rate.

Peter Pearson

Peter Pearson (2017-2018), South Georgia Tormenat FC – Recent VCU alum Peter Pearson has found a home with South Georgia Tormenta FC of USL League One. His 2019 contract is his first professional contract and he made his professional debut in the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup in May. Although he has been sidelined with injury during the regular season, Pearson has been active with the club participating in many community engagement projects including a mentor program. 

Eli Lockaby  (Photo Courtesy: Jessica Stone Hendricks Photography)

Eli Lockaby (2014-2018), Richmond Kickers – Eli Lockaby is finding success in his first professional season, playing for the Richmond Kickers. He has played in 15 games, starting in all but one. He has been offensively efficient, scoring a goal in only three shots on target. On the defensive side of the ball, Lockaby has an impressive 23 interceptions.

Joe Rice  (Photo Courtesy: Jessica Stone Hendricks Photography)

Joe Rice (2015-2019), Richmond Kickers – Joe Rice was recently signed to play for the Richmond Kickers after graduating from VCU. Rice has made two appearances between the pipes with his first start coming in a 2-1 win over Toronto FC II on Friday, July 26.

Serie D, Spain

Francesco Amorosino

Francesco Amorosino (2015-2018), Trastevere Calcio - Francesco Amorosino is currently in preseason training with Trastevere Calcio of Serie D in Rome. Last season, Amorosino spent the season playing for Villafranca Veronese. 

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