The Red Bulls trialist was found...on Facebook?
When you've got a hankering to play some international soccer and you qualify for citizenship in your grandparents' country, what do you do?
Do you start a Facebook page, post highlights to it, and email your desired country' U-18 manager?
And that's exactly what Rafhael Domingues, a trailist who scored the 88th minute go-ahead goal in the Red Bulls' friendly against Swedish side Malmo FF Thursday, did. Domingues, a Brazilian playing in the Toledo CW youth system figured he didn't have much hope of playing for his home country's national team. He stood a better chance in Austria, where his grandparents emigrated from.
Well, Austria signed him up, and in his first game, the forward/attacking midfielder scored twice in a 3-1 win over the Czech Republic. He also spent some time in the Bourissa Dortmund youth ranks
Now 19-years-old, Domingues, also known as Rafinha, is in camp with the Red Bulls. It seems his size has and/or strength been an issue in trying to catch on in Europe and it doesn't seem Domingues is interested in a career in Brazil, despite his home club's (apparent) connections to Sao Paulo.
Whether or not MLS satisfies Domingues' reported ambitions remains to be seen, but if he can bring the same kind of creativity that got him called up to Austria to the soccer field, the Red Bulls might have something on their hands. If they can get him signed.