Philadelphia native Darius Madison has been booted from the University of Virginia's men's soccer team. According to Steven Goff of the Washington Post, a violation of team rules will preclude the senior from playing in his final season with the Hoos.
In his time with Virginia, Madison accumulated 12 goals and four assists in nearly 60 games. The forward was twice named to the NCAA All-Tournament Team, most recently in 2014, when his fifth-minute goal against UMBC sealed Virginia's place in the final.
2015 was set to be the year of Darius Madison, as the senior forward aimed to finally break out and bring his team back to the College Cup Final in the process. Now, his future is up in the air.
The odds are slim that Madison finds another collegiate outfit this season, as the season is about to start and the severity of his infraction is still unknown. He could sit this season out and declare for the SuperDraft in January, but his value will surely take a huge hit. Realistically, Darius Madison's college career is over.
The Philadelphia Union Academy alumnus has two options: Sign with his hometown club or go abroad.
In the past, Union coach Jim Curtin has heaped praise on the potential homegrown signing. In an interview with Dave Zeitlin, he guarantees that the young player will turn professional:
"I will say Darius has the tools to play pro soccer. He'll be a pro player. We'll see how that goes in the coming weeks. Those are discussions we're having. He's not a guy we forgot about or anything."
With the creation of a new USL team in Bethlehem--a team created for the express purpose of providing first-team minutes to budding players--it would make a whole lot of sense for Madison to sign with the Union. Whether he signs with the USL team outright or joins them on loan after agreeing to a homegrown contract with the MLS club, the move would ensure that Madison receives plenty of playing time and a path to the first team.
We'll provide updates to this situation as it develops.
Update: Darius Madison has transferred to the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Earlier today, coach Pete Caringi told Steven Goff that the forward is in the process of completing his paperwork, but the completion of his transfer is imminent.
While news of Madison's exclusion from UVa's roster only broke this morning, it seems like the decision was made at least a few days ago.
And so another chapter begins... It's been real in The Ville— darius madison (@DariusMilez21) August 24, 2015
In last year's college cup, Madison scored the goal that eliminated UMBC in the Final Four. The Retrievers are ranked 25th in TopDrawerSoccer.com's pre-season poll.