Lansing United is off to a 6-2 start this season, and leading the team’s offense this year is Brazilian midfielder Rafa Mentzingen
“I mean it’s been a good season, especially for me.” Mentzingen told 6 Sports. “I feel like (Coach) Nate and all the team has been helping me, passing me a lot of confidence and more than that, we’re getting results.” He said regarding United sitting 2nd in the NPSL Great Lakes Division
Mentzingen has synced up on offense with Forwards James DeCosemo and Tumi Moshobane to give United a trident of goal scoring options. Rafa’s teammates say his playing style is true to that of his native Brazil
“It’s been unbelievable and his consistency level has been the best part about it.” Says United captain James DeCosemo. “It’s not just one or two games, it’s been every game, so he’s so nice to play with, you can see that Brazilian style in him, it’s great to watch, it’s great to have in training, players like that are the reason you win Championships.” He finished.
Just over halfway through his first NPSL season, Mentzingen’s 9 goals are good for second among all players, however, there’s more to Mentzingen than meets the eye.
Coach Nate Miller speaks highly “I think all the fans see the production and it’s even better than that because they don’t see his personality, and how much he provides to the group um he really makes the group better as far as a team and just uh a daily working environment, he’s even better than people think.”
While Rafa hopes this season ends in Lansing United hoisting a trophy, he is grateful for the experience, and appreciates the opportunities soccer has created for him thousands of miles from home.
“Three years ago I never imagined I would come to the U.S. to play soccer, so I mean soccer is taking me all over the place and all over the United States, and I mean I am just grateful for the sport that I love.” He said.
Mentzingen will continue his college career this fall at Valparaiso University in Indiana. Lansing United takes on Grand Rapids F.C. Saturday night at East Lansing Soccer Complex.