The Rhode Island Reds FC, celebrating their fifth year in the NPSL, announced the appointment of Mario Pereira as the club’s new head coach.
“We are proud to have Mario Pereira join the Reds for what will be a milestone year in the club’s history,” Reds Owner and Director of Football Operations Kabba Joof remarked. “As we look to increase our focus on developing talent from the Southern New England area, we know that Mario is the right candidate for the position. Mario has been a huge part of Rhode Island’s soccer history and we are glad he will now be a part of the Reds future.”
Pereira was an East Providence High School All-State, All-New England, and First Team NSCAA McDonald’s All-American. He was named as the Providence Journal’s Co-Athlete of the Year in 1975. While playing at the University of Rhode Island, he was a two-time All-New England forward and still holds the record at URI for the most goals scored in a half.
Pereira began his coaching career as an assistant at Brown University from 1982-1989. After his time at Brown, Pereira became the head coach for LASA league team Lusitania from 1989-1994. During his time with Lusitania, Pereira won the LASA Championship in 1991, 1992, and 1993 where he was named Coach of the Year during those seasons.
Pereira also coached the Rhode Island Stingrays, where he mentored U.S. Men’s National Team and Stoke City standout Geoff Cameron. Currently, Pereira is the head coach for La Salle Academy in Providence, RI where he has won nine Boys Division I Championships since the year 2000.
“The Reds are a club that have made great strides in the Rhode Island soccer community since they were founded in 2012,” Pereira added. “I’m honored and excited to be given this opportunity to be the head coach for the 2016 season and am hoping for a great year. I am confident that my experience at this level will help propel the club to new heights as we look to continue developing the area’s top players.”
With the appointment of Pereira, the Reds are looking to build a comprehensive grassroots development system for soccer players in the Southern New England area.
“The landscape of soccer in our country is experiencing rapid growth and the Southern New England area has always displayed a unique passion for the game,” Joof concluded. “We believe that Mario is the one capable of finding and developing the top players in the area as we, the backroom staff look to grow the sport and bring the many different soccer enthusiasts in our region together.”