EDINBURG, Texas (KVEO) — The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) Department of Intercollegiate Athletics learned on Wednesday that forward William Akio, of the Vaqueros men’s soccer team, has signed a professional contract with Valour FC of the Canadian Premier League.
“Honestly, it’s overwhelming,” Akio said. “It just gives me the reassurance off all the hard work I have put in, even when things were tough and even when I couldn’t even believe in myself, there was something in me that told me not to stop and told me to keep going. Now that it is paying off, I can see that. Everything behind me was so amazing. I enjoyed the process. I am ecstatic. I am excited to get started.”
Akio just wrapped up his collegiate career after three seasons with the Vaqueros. Akios finished his career second in program history in points (50), tied for third in goals (18), tied for first in assists (18), and third in shots (98).
Akio was named the Western Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Year this season after leading the WAC in points (17), goals (7), and game-winning goals (3) while ranking seventh in shots (24) and tied for ninth in assists (3).
Akio was also named to the All-WAC First Team to go along with his WAC Offensive Player of the Year honor. Akio is a three-time All-WAC honoree after earning All-WAC Second Team honors as a sophomore and junior while also being named to the Preseason All-WAC Team twice.
“This is a great achievement for Will as he starts his professional soccer career,” UTRGV Head Coach Bryheem Hancock said. “I see a bright future for him after a very successful college career. I am prouder of the fact he is graduating with a degree in hand. He will make the UTRGV family proud!”
“UTRGV has been the biggest change in my life,” Akio said. “I didn’t know what to expect coming here three years ago but I got a degree, I got a scholarship, I got to meet so many new people and honestly, it’s something I am never going to forget. I have so many memories here. Anyone that wants to come to UTRGV, I 100 percent recommend it because it’s a great culture, great people, and it’s something you will never forget.”
Akio will head to training camp with Valour FC next week in preparation for the upcoming season, which is slated to begin at the end of June.