Pedro DeBrito

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Pedro DeBrito
Personal information
Full name Pedro Gomes DeBrito
Date of birth (1959-05-25)May 25, 1959
Place of birth Sao Nicolau, Cape Verde
Date of death July 5, 2014(2014-07-05) (aged 55)
Place of death Miami, Florida, United States
Height 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Playing position Forward / Midfielder / Defender
Youth career
1978–1981 University of Connecticut
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1982 Tampa Bay Rowdies 29 (2)
1983 Team America 19 (0)
1983–1984 Tampa Bay Rowdies (indoor) 22 (9)
1984 New York Cosmos 23 (2)
1984–1985 New York Cosmos (indoor) 32 (12)
1985–1987 Dallas Sidekicks (indoor) 87 (35)
1987–1990 Wichita Wings (indoor) 108 (14)
1989 Albany Capitals
1990–1992 Dallas Sidekicks (indoor) 46 (13)
1992–1993 Detroit Rockers (indoor) 23 (13)
National team
1983 United States 1 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

Pedro Gomes DeBrito (May 25, 1959 – July 5, 2014) was a retired U.S.-Cape Verdean soccer midfielder. His career took him through multiple U.S. leagues including the North American Soccer League, Major Indoor Soccer League, American Soccer League and the National Professional Soccer League. He earned one cap with the U.S. national team in 1983.


DeBrito, a native of Cape Verde, moved with his family to Portugal when he was nine.[1] His family then moved to the U.S. when he was fifteen. After high school, he attended the University of Connecticut. He played as a forward on the men's soccer team and finished his four seasons with 43 goals and 59 assists. He holds the school's career assists record and, as of July 2014, is fifth on the career goals list.[2] In 1981, UConn defeated Alabama A&M 2-1 to win the NCAA Men's Soccer Championship.[3] He was a 1980 Honorable Mention and 1981 First Team All American honors.[2][4] The University of Connecticut inducted DeBrito into the school's Athletic Hall of Fame in 1999.[citation needed] He was inducted into the Connecticut Soccer Hall of Fame in the Class of 2000.[1][5]


The Tampa Bay Rowdies of the North American Soccer League drafted DeBrito with the first pick in the 1982 NASL College Draft.[6] That year he was the NASL Rookie of the Year as a forward.[2][7] In 1983, the U.S. Soccer Federation, in coordination with the NASL, entered the U.S. national team, known as Team America, into the NASL as a league franchise.[3] The team drew on U.S. citizens playing in the NASL, Major Indoor Soccer League (MISL) and American Soccer League (ASL). DeBrito left the Rowdies and signed with Team America.[8] When Team America finished the 1983 season with a 10-20 record, the worst in the NASL, USSF withdrew the team from the league and DeBrito returned to the Rowdies. However, he did not play for the Rowdies in 1984 as the team traded him to the New York Cosmos on April 26, 1984 for Refik Kozić and cash.[9] While DeBrito played as a forward with the Rowdies and as a midfielder with Team America, the Cosmos used him as an outside back. DeBrito remained with the Cosmos through the 1984 NASL outdoor season. The league collapsed at the end of the season and the Cosmos jumped to MISL for the 1984-1985 season. However, the Cosmos did not last the season and DeBrito signed with the Dallas Sidekicks (MISL) as a free agent on September 10, 1985. On February 13, 1987, DeBrito injured his right knee putting him out for the remainder of the 1986-1987 season. He began the 1987-1988 season with the Sidekicks but the team attempted to trade DeBrito the Tacoma Stars for Godfrey Ingram. When the two teams failed to complete the trade, the Sidekicks released DeBrito due to salary cap considerations nine games into the 1987-1988 season. DeBrito then signed with Wichita Wings as a free agent. Later that season, he broke his right leg. In 1989, DeBrito played for the Albany Capitals of the outdoor American Soccer League.[10]

DeBrito returned to the Dallas Sidekicks as a free agent in 1990 and remained with the team through 1991. On December 2, 1992, he signed with the Detroit Rockers of the National Professional Soccer League and played with the team until 1994 when he retired from professional soccer.[11] He later spent time in Portugal before returning to the United States and settling in Miami where he continued to play for local recreational soccer teams.[12][13]

National team[edit]

DeBrito earned his only cap in the U.S. national team's only game in 1983, a 2-0 win over Haiti on April 30, 1983.[14]

Personal life[edit]

DeBrito's parents were John and Angelina DeBrito. He had five sisters: Vera, Fernanda, Valeriana, Angela, and Maria. His younger brother, John DeBrito, was also a professional soccer player in the 1990s and early 2000s.[15] Pedro was the Boys Varsity Soccer Coach for the Oliver-Wolcott Technical High School in Torrington, CT in 1999

DeBrito was critically injured in an automobile accident in Miami, Florida, on July 3, 2014, and died as a result of those injuries on July 5, 2014. He was on his way to work as a manager of the Drew Estate Cigar Company when the car he was driving hit a tree in the median.[1][12][16]


  1. ^ a b c Conyers, Matthew (July 7, 2014). "UConn Soccer Great Pedro DeBrito, 55, Dies After Car Crash". Hartford Courant. Retrieved July 9, 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c "Pedro DeBrito Passes Away". UConn Huskies. July 7, 2014. Retrieved July 9, 2014. 
  3. ^ a b Palladino, Joe (July 8, 2014). "Waterbury loses 1 of its greats; Soccer legend Pedro DeBrito dies at age 55". Republican-American. Waterbury, CT. Retrieved July 9, 2014. 
  4. ^ "All-Time NSCAA All-Americas". 2013 College Soccer Almanac (PDF). National Soccer Coaches Association of America. July 15, 2013. p. 47. Retrieved July 6, 2014. 
  5. ^ "Class of 2000". Connecticut Soccer Hall of Fame. Retrieved July 6, 2014. 
  6. ^ "Best Foot Forward". The New York Times. December 15, 1981. Retrieved July 6, 2014. 
  7. ^ "UConn Soccer Star". The New York Times. September 8, 1982. Retrieved July 6, 2014. 
  8. ^ "Team America Boots Rowdies, 1-0". Miami Herald. Associated Press. June 10, 1983. p. 3E. 
  9. ^ Beard, Randy (March 26, 1984). "Sting owner livid over Rowdies". St. Petersburg Independent. p. 3C. Retrieved July 6, 2014. 
  10. ^ "American Soccer League 1989 Season". A-League Archives Home. January 27, 2007. Retrieved July 6, 2014. 
  12. ^ a b Marshall, Raymond (July 6, 2014). "Former Sidekick Pedro Debrito Killed in Car Accident". The Dallas Morning News. Retrieved July 6, 2014. 
  13. ^ Claps, Arthur V. (February 10, 2003). "Former Cosmos Star DeBrito Helps Soccer Locker's Victory". Miami Herald. p. 9D. 
  14. ^ "USA - Details of International Matches 1980-1989". Rec Sport Soccer Statistics Foundation. Retrieved July 6, 2014. 
  15. ^ Cohen, Howard (July 10, 2014). "Tampa Bay Rowdies, UConn soccer champ Pedro DeBrito dies after car crash in Miami". Miami Herald. Retrieved July 11, 2014. 
  16. ^

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