Women’s soccer player adjusts to new culture

By Nick Cardoso | gargoyle@flagler.edu
Photo by Dyann Busse, Flagler College Athletics

Rafaela Faria knows all about the difficulties of assimilating into a new culture.

Faria said it was a little difficult adjusting to a team full of girls from the United States.

“When I first came to high school I didn’t speak any English,” Faria said.

Faria, who is from Sao Jose, Brazil, discovered Flagler College during her junior year of high school when playing in a tournament against an American team.

In May of that year, Faria was offered the chance to play at a high school in America.

“The guy that’s organizing the competition knew a coach in Tennessee, and this coach knew another coach in Florida that needed a player,” Faria said. “Then, in July I was flying to American already. I got a scholarship, they paid for my ticket and everything.”

Faria stayed with a host family for 11 months before returning to Brazil to graduate high school, but she wanted to come back to the U.S. and get a scholarship to play soccer.

“I came last year in January or February and my host family knew Coach Meyer and that Flagler was a good school,” Faria said. “I went to tryout at Flagler, coach offered me a scholarship and I decided to come to Flagler.”

She said that she would play in tournaments back home, but the soccer programs in Brazil are not as organized as they are on the collegiate level in the United States.

Faria said that women’s soccer is not overly popular in her state of Brazil. She said that many of the girls in Brazil will stop playing soccer because they need to work.

“All the girls that play soccer in Brazil, I’m sure it would be a dream to come and play here.”

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