Jo Vetle Rimstad made Radford men’s soccer history once again on Friday as the Harestua, Norway native was selected by the D.C. United with the 43rd overall pick in the 2017 Major League Soccer SuperDraft.
Rimstad becomes the first Highlander drafted into the MLS in program history and will join Dante Washington as the only two Highlanders to don a MLS jersey.
“I just couldn’t be happier right now. D.C. United is the perfect club for me as I have a lot of friends in the area,” Rimstad noted. “It seemed that most Radford students were United fans, so I now have the chance to represent them when I put on the black and red.”
In the last seven weeks, Rimstad has been named a National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) All-American and Scholar All-American. Rimstad became the second Highlander in program history to be named an NSCAA All-American during the Division I era.
In addition to his All-American honors, Rimstad earned the fourth NSCAA All-South Region First Team honor in program history. The accolade was third of Rimstad’s career from the NSCAA, earning second team honors in 2014 and 2015.
“Our university, alumni and soccer program are incredibly proud of Jo Vetle. He had an outstanding four years at Radford, both on and off the field,” said head coach Marc Reeves. “He now gets the chance to represent Radford positively and bring great exposure to the school. He is a fantastic person who is fully deserving of this opportunity.”
Rimstad finished his career as one of the best centre-backs in Radford and Big South history. In 2016, Rimstad became the second Highlander in program history to be named Big South Defensive Player of the Year. Rimstad earned All-Big South honors in each of his four collegiate years, earning first-team honors three times.
“Reevo sent me a text message to tell me I was going to be drafted, I just couldn’t believe it,” Rimstad added. “This is what I have been working for. I never imagined being put in this situation, because I have been enjoying playing soccer for the longest time. I have been working hard for a very long time and it has finally paid off.”
The five-time Big South Defensive Player of the Week honoree aided Radford to 31 shutouts in his career, including 18 in the last two years. Radford matched a program-record 10 shutouts during the 2016 season.
Rimstad did nothing but win since he arrived on campus in 2013. The Highlanders compiled a 49-20-11 record over the span, including a 24-4-5 record inside Cupp Stadium. Radford won three Big South regular-season championships, one Big South Tournament championship and made two NCAA Tournament appearances during the span.
“Jo Vetle understands that it requires continued true hard work to pursue the goal of being a professional and he has certainly earned the right to be drafted,” Reeves added. “We are thankful to for D.C. United for believing in him and wish Jo Vetle the very best.”
Rimstad will join former Highlander Ryan Taylor in the D.C. United organization as Taylor is a member of the Richmond Kickers, the United’s affiliated in the United Soccer League.
— Courtesy of RU Athletics