Lucas Coutinho Looks To Next Level

Written by: Will Johansen, Sports Information Assistant

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla.- With his collegiate soccer career officially behind him, Lucas Coutinho has turned his sights on the next level, playing professionally. The Recife, Brazil native earned an invitation to two different Major League Soccer (MLS) combines this month. The first, on Dec. 4 in Columbus, Ohio with the MLS Columbus Crew, and the second, Dec. 12-14 in Charlotte, N.C. with the Colorado Rapids.

“As a coach I could not be more proud of Lucas,” said head coach Brian McMahon. “While many will see from the outside his athletic ability and accomplishments, the most impressive thing to me is how humble he is for everything he has been given. I’m excited to see wherever he ends up and whatever team signs him will be getting a great person as well as player.”

Both MLS combines were invite only, with Coutinho being one of 35 collegiate players (amongst all three NCAA divisions and NAIA levels) invited to Columbus, and one of 50 invited to Charlotte.

"I couldn't be in the position I am today if it wasn't for Palm Beach Atlantic,” said Coutinho. “PBA believed in me when nobody else did four years ago, and ever since then all I have tried to do was to give my best to represent this amazing organization. Also, Coach Mac and the whole athletic staff always went above and beyond for me and I couldn't be more grateful. I hope to get a chance to keep on playing at the next level, so I can keep representing the Sailfish as best as I can.”

While the Columbus Crew combine was a one-day event, the Colorado Rapids combine took place over three days, with players being invited back each day, with Coutinho receiving invites to return each day, including being one of 22 for the final day. In the final day of the Rapids combine, Coutinho scored a game-tying goal and assisted the game-winning goal, making a big impact with the scouts and coaching staff.

“Both combines were incredible for me to attend to,” Coutinho added. “They were amazing experiences to learn and really see where I am at compared to other players who are trying to achieve the same goal as me. It was also a lot of fun to play with people you've admired by playing against or watching, so I had a great time and definitely learned a lot.”

Making 61 career starts in 64 appearances for the Sailfish, Coutinho scored 25 goals and finishes first all-time in PBA history with 39 assists, giving the Brazilian 88 points for his career. Coutinho finishes his career at PBA as a National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) three-time All-American, including a First Team selection his junior year. He also was named to the NCAA Division II Conference Commissioner’s Association (D2CCA) All-America team twice in his career.

Coutinho is expected to sign with an agent in the upcoming week, and is looking forward to the 2017 MLS SuperDraft. The 2017 MLS SuperDraft will be the eighteenth SuperDraft conducted by Major League Soccer. The SuperDraft is held each year in conjunction with the annual National Soccer Coaches Association of America convention. The 2017 SuperDraft will be held in Los Angeles, California on January 13, 2017.

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