New Jersey Copa FC forward Raphael Araujo has been selected as the seventeenth Mitre National Player of the Week for the 2017 NPSL season.
“It is an absolute honor to receive the NPSL Mitre National Player of the Week Award,” Araujo commented. “All my hard work throughout the season and training sessions is paying off, and it is showing on the field. I want to thank my family and friends for always believing in me, and I also want to thank my coaches and teammates for helping me become a better player every single day. Scoring six goals in a NPSL game, and helping my team clinch an NPSL Keystone Conference playoff spot, is truly an amazing achievement that I will forever remember.”
The Brazilian center forward and team co-captain scored six goals against Buxmont Torch, a game that ended in a 7-3 win for NJCFC. He has nine goals, including two game-winners, and two assists on the season.
“In my decades of coaching experience, I don’t remember seeing such a dominant performance from a single player at any level,” New Jersey Copa FC head coach Roberto Aguas added. “What Rapha was able to accomplish is truly special. I knew he was hungry for a goal after going the past two or three games without scoring one. I did not know, however, that he would erupt for six goals in what was our most important game of the season thus far, from a standings perspective. He stepped up in a huge way to lead our team in clinching a NPSL Keystone Conference Division playoff spot.”
Araujo played two years at New Jersey City University under coach Pat Snyder, who is the assistant coach of the NJCFC NPSL team. He then transferred to Rutgers Newark where he was an All-American in his last two years. He’s also the captain of the club’s professional futsal team. Araujo recently joined the FC Copa Academy staff as a coach and now works full-time with the club.
The winner of this national honor is determined by a vote of media members from across the country. It is awarded every week during the regular season.