UVA soccer freshman Faris Abdi called up to Saudi Arabia National Team
UVA freshman Faris Abdi (Dhahran, Saudi Arabia) is among 34 players listed on the Saudi Arabia Men’s National Team. He is with the team for friendlies against Jamaica (Oct. 7) and Ghana (Oct. 10).
“This is a great opportunity for Faris, we’re excited for him to get the chance to showcase what he can do,” said head coach George Gelnovatch. “I’ve had guys in the past get called up to the U-18 and the U-20 teams but not the full senior national team so this is a huge opportunity for him.”
As a freshman, Abdi has played and started the first nine games for the Cavaliers before departing for training with his Saudi Arabia teammates. In 732 minutes played this season he has scored one goal and assisted on two others. In his collegiate debut on Aug. 25 against Villanova, the first-year midfielder assisted on the team’s first goal of the year and later scored a go-ahead score.
Born in San Diego, Calif., Abdi also played with the United States U-18 National Team. After growing up in Saudi Arabia, Abdi attended the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. At IMG he was named the 2016-17 Academy Soccer Program MVP.
Saudi Arabia has already qualified for the 2018 World Cup in Russia, its first appearance since 2006.
Abdi will return to the Cavaliers after the two matches which will both take place in Saudi Arabia.