ATLANTA – Former Columbia University goalkeeper Dylan Castanheira has signed with Atlanta United 2, prior to the 2019 MLS SuperDraft.
The signing is pending league and U.S. Soccer Federation approval.
Atlanta United 2 is the official USL affiliate of the 2018 MLS Cup champions.
“We have followed Dylan for a while now and are excited to sign him to a professional contract with our club,” Atlanta United vice president and technical director Carlos Bocanegra said. “He is one of the top goalkeeping prospects in the college game and we are happy to have him join Atlanta United.”
Castanheira was signed by Atlanta United 2, the official United Soccer League affiliate of the 2018 MLS Cup champions. This past fall, the keeper wrapped up his career as one of the most decorated goalkeepers in Columbia and Ivy League history.
“I’m really excited to be able to take my game to the next level,” Castanheira said. “Everything I’ve done in my soccer career is to get to this point. Hopefully now I can continue to make progress and work hard to get to the top team.
“I want to thank my family for their continuous support through good times and bad, as I wouldn’t be where I am now without them,” he continued. “The coaching staff at Columbia – Kevin, Ken, and Luke – really took a chance on me and I couldn’t have picked a better place to spend my college career. I also want to thank the Long Island Rough Riders and Jersey United for my growth and development. The support they all gave me was huge.”
During his senior campaign, the Landing, N.J. native earned a bevy of awards. Castanheira was named the Ivy League defensive player of the year, as well as a first team All-Ivy selection. In 2018, he was a second team Scholar All-American pick, as the lone goalkeeper to earn the award. A second team All-Northeast Region honoree, Castanheira also was a Scholar All-Region award-winner and an Academic All-Ivy League pick.
Castanheira name can be found throughout the Ivy League and Columbia record books, as he broke the conference record for career goals against average at 0.513 He also owns the Columbia career record for career shutouts with 25. His senior year featured five shutouts – all of which came during Columbia victories – and a 10-5-1 record in net, bringing his career tally to 33-10-4. A three-time All-Ivy League selection, Castanheira led the NCAA in goals against average (.290) and save percentage (.903) during his sophomore season, while finishing third with a .425 goals against average during his junior campaign.
“Congratulations to Dylan and his family,” Columbia head coach Kevin Anderson said. “Joining the MLS Champs is not a bad start to your professional career. His attitude, character and dedication to his development is outstanding and will be critical in the coming years. We all look forward to watching him grow and wish him the very best. Only one question remains – who will be next? 2019 will be an exciting year and we have 12 months to help our returning players put themselves in this position for the 2020 draft.”