UConn Legend - Men's Soccer Pedro DeBrito - All American 1981

Pedro DeBrito was a world traveler growing up...Born in Cape Verde, moved to Portugal at age nine, then at 15 his family came to the United States. Mom, Dad and seven kids...a lot of travel to go from place to place. DeBrito played soccer and Joe Morrone noticed..Next stop was Storrs, Connecticut and quite a ride playing for a soccer wild fan base in Eastern Connecticut.

As DeBrito developed his game on campus, a chemistry was building with Elvis Comrie...along with Joe Morrone and later his younger Bill...And the results were building 19-6 in 1978...The New England Title with wins over URI and Brown to get the Quarter-Finals...But as it happened throughout the 1970's, UConn derailed in that round for a third time when Philadelphia Textile blanked them in Storrs 3-0..

UConn went 19-7 a year later where DeBritio became more of a contributor..A PK Goal in a tough loss to National Power Saint Louis and the Game Winner in a 2-1 over Harvard. The Huskies again in the NCAA's, but in the New England Championship against URI, a 2-2 tie thru regulation and OT wasn't enough...UConn didn't convert enough PK's, including a miss by DeBrito and the Huskies were done...DeBrito setting the school record with 20 assists to earn him the first of three NSCAA All New England/Northeast & New England Intercollegiate Team Honors..

As the frustrating 1970's turned the page to 1980, The Huskies were ready to begin their run to greatness. UConn's lone blemish was an early 1-0 loss at Indiana. What followed was a 17 game win streak..Scoring 4 goals or more in 11 of those games before a scoreless tie with Penn State.They followed with back to back 6-0 wins over URI and B.U. that gave the Huskies another New England Championship..But for the third time since 1974, a trip to little Oneonta, NY and Hartwick College stood in their way...On a snowy surface, Hartwick won 1-0 to end their season in Heartbreaking fashion. While Joe Morrone, Jr was named the Herman Trophy Winner, DeBrito a 15 goal, 13 assist season that earned him more regional awards and an Honorable Mention All American in 1980...

The 1981 Season, other than Joe, Jr....most of the key pieces were back to make yet another run at getting Coach Joe his first Final Four/National Championship...The Huskies started with 8 straight wins..DeBrito the second 2g-2a game of his career in a rout of Bridgeport...After back to back losses out west, the Huskies reeled off another nine game unbeaten string before a tough 4-3 home loss to Philly Textile. But in the New England Final, UConn took care of Vermont..again leaving a Team from New York keeping them from the Final Four. This time, Long Island University...but the Blackbirds never had a chance in Storrs. A 3-0 win where DeBritio's defense on Seymour Alleyne played a key role in getting the Huskies to a Final Four...

DeBrito named the Player of the Game in their 2-1, Semi-Final win over Eastern Illinois out at Stanford Stadium...Onto Alabama A&M in the Title Game. The Team's played a 1-1 Tie in Storrs on November 1st....A&M Scoring just before halftime, the Billy Morrone answered early second half...onto overtime, where left to right ball movement got the ball to DeBrito, who made a fine individual play to keep possession and get fellow midfielder Jim Lyman the ball...His cross headed in by Jim D'Orsaneo and the Huskies won the National Title...Finally for Joe Morrone !!

DeBrito equaling his own school record with 20 assists..many to Elvis Comrie, who scored 15 goals in a 20-3-2 season. It again gave DeBrito New England and Northeast Honors..But this time, First Team All American Honors..Finishing his career with 43 goals and a UConn Record 59 assists..145 points and tied for second with Comrie on the All Time List....DeBrito was a first round pick of the NASL's Tampa Bay Rowdies in 1982 where he was named the Rookie of the Year..Later NASL Franchises Team America and the New York Cosmos. With Indoor stops in New York, Dallas, Wichita and finally Dallas.

Ironically, his younger brother John was a standout soccer player at Kaynor Tech in Waterbury where he was one of the top scorers in State History..Then a D2 All American at Southern Ct State University where the Owls won the 1990 National Championship..playing for current UConn Head Coach, Ray Reid...In 1999, Pedro coached a year of High School Soccer at Wolcott Tech in Waterbury before returning to Miami...Sadly on July 3, 2104, a car he was driving struck a tree in teh center median...Two days later, Pedro DeBrito passed away...

We'll forever remember Men's Soccer Player and Star Pedro DeBrito...A dazzling playmaker and goal scorer..an All American and yes, a UConn Legend !!

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