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Name: Ricardo Miguel Vieira

Team: B03 Black

Number of Years at Copa: 3

HS: East Side High School

HS Honors: Honor Roll, Super Honor Roll

Coaches at Copa: Coach Roberto, Coach Lori

College Attending: Saint Peter’s University

Conference: Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference

Anticipated Major: Business

Quote about a specific coach:

When joining FC Copa my sophomore year I was playing for the red team for a season then transferred over to the black team. Transferring teams after one season was difficult but Coach Roberto and Coach Lori greeted me with open arms. The coaching styles from both Coach Roberto and Coach Lori were different from any other coach that I had played under. Playing under them taught me that I have to accept that I am going to make mistakes but what matters is how you overcome that and hold yourself accountable for your mistakes. Coach Roberto helped me shape myself into the person I am today by starting with my character. I wasn't a great listener nor did I accept criticism too well. Coach Roberto told me that these ways would never work out in the real world. He would always give me advice on how I can improve my style of play, but I was confused and got mad very easily. Coach Roberto noticed that and kept pushing me to realize that this change needs to happen. Slowly but surely it started to come into play and now, both my playing style and soccer IQ are at the highest level they have ever been. Coach Roberto and Coach Lori shaped me into both a better player, but more importantly a better person and I will always cherish the lessons I learned.

What are your most memorable moments or experiences at FC Copa Academy?

My most memorable experience at FC Copa Academy would be when I was promoted to the black team after working hard in my first season. Going to Florida with the National League team to play in the Disney showcase. That was the first time I had ever been to Florida, and It was my first couple of games with them and we played and defeated some incredible teams. It was a memorable experience. I became more comfortable with my teammates and they instantly treated me like family.

How did FC Copa Academy help you become the player you are today?

FC Copa Academy helped me become the player I am today by first shaping my character on and off the field and teaching me the style of soccer that's the most effective and that best suits the team. The FC Copa values of accountability and discipline instilled in me a work ethic that will guide me in my collegiate career.

How did FC Copa Academy help you get into the college program you will be attending?

FC Copa Academy helped me narrow down my college list by using resources provided by the club such as College Fit Finder, which helped me narrow down colleges that fit into my liking. I attended each college night that FC Copa offered at the beginning of the school year, I was given very important information about how college is and what helped previous FC Copa players narrow down and choose which college they wanted to attend. Coach Lori was a major help in this process, from the 1on1 meetings we had where we discussed which schools fit my criteria, to the guidance on how to properly email college coaches, she was crucial at every step of the way. I joined FC Copa with the hopes of playing in college, the club's reputation was unlike any other I played for, and I'm glad I made the choice to join here.

Share your thoughts and experiences on the collegiate recruitment process with FC Copa Academy.

My experience in the collegiate recruitment process with FC Copa was very smooth. I was never introduced to the college recruitment process prior to joining Copa, however, when I arrived at Copa it was very structured and clear on how to put yourself out there for college coaches. The coaches were there with me every step of the way, we learned the proper format to email proper information to use, and what colleges fit into what major you were thinking of taking in college. My thoughts are that it was a great experience and that it couldn't have turned out better.

What advice would you give to future FC Copa Academy athletes going through the collegiate recruitment process?

Reach out to coaches early and often, and keep in contact with them often. Maintain the academic side, the soccer part is great but remember that you are a student first. Create your college list early, make the most of the resources that are given to you at FC Copa, schedule your meetings with Coach Lori. All of the tools are given to you at the start, it's your job to make the most of them. Lastly, don't get discouraged! It's a long journey that has high moments and low moments, so take it all in stride and you will find your happy ending.

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