Detroit City FC’s Fabio Villas Boas Pereira was recently named one of the top 100 college players in the U.S. by Top Drawer Soccer.  The Brazilian midfielder, ranked #10 overall nationally, is entering his senior year at the University of Michigan. 

“The recognition is welcomed,” the Sao Paulo native commented.  “It makes me excited, motivated for the season.”

Fabio was a force to be reckoned with in the NPSL’s Great Lakes Conference from Day One when he arrived in Detroit in late June.  He added creativity and flair to an already potent DCFC attack, one that scored goals en route to an undefeated regular season. 

“Playing in Detroit was a great experience. It was awesome to connect with the fans. It was a great season.”

He hopes that the DCFC supporters will also cheer on the UM soccer program, helping develop a bigger fan base in Michigan

Fabio was certainly a player to watch in the NPSL this summer; his performance warranted an opportunity to train with MLS side Sporting Kansas City for two weeks.

Getting to the professional level is certainly a goal of Fabio’s, but he admits there is work yet to do for the Wolverines. 

“I have a long way to go.  I want to get better every day, make the team better.” 

Pereira, who has led UM in scoring each of the last two seasons, enters the season with 18 career assists.  Last season he ranked second in the Big Ten with eight assists, fourth in points, and fifth in goals. Simply put, he is a playmaker who makes things happen on the pitch. 

The Big 10 is no cakewalk in the world of men’s collegiate soccer. Indiana, Michigan State, and Penn State are all serious contenders on a national level. But having talented players like Fabio, who has to be considered a favorite for Big 10 Player of the Year, gives the Wolverines a legitimate shot at the conference title.      

“Fabio is a personality player and is an excellent 1v1 dribbler and attacking presence within our team,” UM head coach Chaka Daley commented. “He is an attacking presence in our team due to his movement with and without the ball, and always needs to be accounted for by the other team, as he is a goal-dangerous player.”

Having quality players gain extra exposure and experience in the summer months is what the NPSL experience is all about. 

“It was very helpful,” Pereira concluded. “It will pay off when the season begins.  I can’t wait for the first kick.”

Detroit City and UM supporters can’t wait to see Fabio take the pitch.

Photo Credit: The University of Michigan Athletic Department