Rafael Pereira repeats as NJCAA All-American
Friday / December 2, 2016
For just the second time in program history, a member of the Marshalltown Community College men’s soccer team has earned back-to-back NJCAA All-American honors. Sophomore goalkeeper Rafael Pereira has been named to the NJCAA All-American Honorable Mention team for the 2016 season.
Pereira, who was named to the NJCAA All-American First-Team as a freshman in 2015, was selected as one of the top three goalkeepers in the nation this year. Pereira was one of just three members of the Iowa Community College Athletic Conference (ICCAC) to earn All-American status in 2016.
“I’m very thankful for this award,” Pereira exclaimed, “because it rewards all the effort me, my family, my teammates, and my coaches have been giving during these two years here in Marshalltown. Because of that, this honor goes to all of them. Being a two-time All-American at MCC is great, but it is an individual award that came from the team’s effort.”
Pereira closed out his stellar MCC career as one of the best goalkeepers in program history. As a sophomore, Pereira posted a 15-4-1 record which ranked tied for sixth in the nation for wins. Pereira’s 10 shutouts on the year ranked third in the NJCAA while his 0.71 goals against average was the eighth-best mark in the nation.
For his career as a Tiger, Pereira’s overall record in net was 33-5-3 and helped MCC reach the Region XI Tournament championship game in each season. The Tigers were ranked in 22 consecutive national polls during Pereira’s tenure and tied a program record after reaching the No. 3 rank in 2016.
“I’m very proud and happy for Rafa receiving this individual recognition,” MCC head coach Rafael Martinez stated, “but he is also very cognizant of the work that has gone in from the entire team to achieve this honor. I’m very happy with his loyalty to the program. Even though he had many opportunities to move on to a four-year school after an outstanding freshman year, he had the loyalty to return to MCC and accomplish more for the program.
“Even though we did not achieve the opportunity to reach the national tournament, he still stood out from everyone else due to his work ethic and commitment to the program. Rafa is a great example to follow for next year’s sophomore class because it shows that you can return to Marshalltown and achieve great things, both as a team and individually.”
Pereira recorded a program-record 20 shutouts at MCC while his career goals against average of 0.56 ranks third all-time at MCC. Along with being a two-time All-American, Pereira has also been named to the All-Region XI First-Team twice, a seven-time ICCAC Player of the Week, a member of the ICCAC Academic All-Region XI First-Team, and earned the NJCAA Exemplary Academic Achievement Award as a marketing major.
Pereira becomes the 32nd NJCAA All-American at MCC and the ninth All-American honor for the soccer program. The Tigers have now had at least one All-American in each of the last five years.
For a list of all-time All-Americans at MCC, visit: MCC All-Americans