Back in January, Once A Metro was a little excited to hear that Wuilito Fernandes had entered the MLS SuperDraft. He was 26 years old at the time, which attracted some attention as it is a little old for a player to be seeking a first pro contract.
But Fernandes took the long way round to a career in pro soccer. He was a trialist with the New York Red Bulls in 2010 (hence OaM’s interest), but when efforts to land a pro deal didn’t work out, he did the smart thing and went back to school.
UMass Lowell is not an obvious path to MLS, but Fernandes proved an effective attacking presence and his work did get him noticed. He was selected with the 62nd overall pick in the third round of this year’s Draft by FC Dallas - the first player from UMass Lowell’s men’s soccer program to be drafted by MLS.
FCD didn’t sign him, but if we know anything about Fernandes it is surely that he doesn’t give up easily on his goals. Reportedly, he won his first cap for his country - Cape Verde - in the last international window, making his national team debut in a friendly against Luexmbourg. And now he has his first professional contract: Fernandes has signed to play for Orange County SC in USL.
OaM wishes him every success.